Fredrickson v. Minnesota, State of
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION(Written Opinion). Signed by Judge Patrick J. Schiltz on 4/9/2018. (CLG) Modified text on 4/9/2018 (ACH). cc: Fredrickson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
JASON DAVID FREDRICKSON,
Case No. 16‐CV‐2829 (PJS/TNL)
STATE OF MINNESOTA; MINNESOTA
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
(MNDOC); MNDOC COMMISSIONER
TOM ROY; MN CORRECTIONAL
FACILITY (MCF) LINO LAKES; WARDEN
Jason Fredrickson, pro se.
Scott K. Springer, MOWER COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, for defendants.
Plaintiff Jason Fredrickson was traveling in a vehicle with two of his friends
when the vehicle left the road and crashed into a utility pole, killing both of
Fredrickson’s friends. A jury found that Fredrickson had been driving the vehicle while
under the influence of alcohol and convicted him of four counts of vehicular homicide.
The court then sentenced him to eight years in prison. After the Minnesota Court of
Appeals rejected Fredrickson’s appeal and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied
review, Fredrickson brought this habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
This matter is before the Court on Fredrickson’s objection to the December 29,
2017 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung. Judge
Leung recommends denying Fredrickson’s habeas petition. The Court has conducted a
de novo review. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). Based on that review,
the Court overrules Fredrickson’s objection, adopts the R&R, and denies Fredrickson’s
§ 2254 petition.
Fredrickson argues that law‐enforcement officers violated his Fourth
Amendment rights by drawing a sample of his blood “while he was unconscious,
without [his] permission, and without a warrant.” ECF No. 9‐3 at 6. As Judge Leung
explains, however, Fredrickson “had a full and fair opportunity to litigate his [Fourth
Amendment] claim in the Minnesota state courts.” ECF No. 21 at 10. Fredrickson’s
Fourth Amendment claim is therefore barred by the Supreme Court’s decision in Stone
v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 494 (1976) (“In sum, we conclude that where the State has
provided an opportunity for full and fair litigation of a Fourth Amendment claim, a
state prisoner may not be granted federal habeas corpus relief on the ground that
evidence obtained in an unconstitutional search or seizure was introduced at his trial.”
(footnotes omitted)). Nowhere in his objection to the R&R does Fredrickson argue to
the contrary; instead, he simply addresses the merits of his Fourth Amendment claim.
Fredrickson also argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he was
driving the vehicle when it crashed. ECF No. 9‐3 at 6‐8; see also ECF No. 22 at 1‐3 (“The
circumstantial evidence presented against petitioner . . . is insufficient to support a
conviction . . . .”). Fredrickson points out (among other things) that the brain matter
and other DNA of one of his companions were found on the steering wheel and driver’s
seat. Fredrickson argues that this proves that he was not driving the vehicle when it
But the question here is not, as Fredrickson would have it, whether “[t]he
circumstantial evidence presented against [Fredrickson] . . . lead[s] to a conclusion that
is consistent only with guilt and inconsistent with innocence . . . .” ECF No. 22 at 2.
Instead, the question is whether the evidence presented at trial was so weak that “‘no
rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.’”
McDaniel v. Brown, 558 U.S. 120, 121 (2010) (per curiam) (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. 307, 324 (1979)). In other words, if a rational jury could have either convicted or
acquitted Fredrickson, then he is not entitled to habeas relief.
The evidence against Fredrickson would have allowed a rational jury to find that
he had been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As the Minnesota Court of
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the
evidence shows that: (1) the vehicle was registered to
Fredrickson’s wife; (2) Fredrickson stated that he was going
to drive to town; (3) Fredricksonʹs shoe was found by the
brake pedal encapsulated by the vehicle; (4) Fredricksonʹs
injuries, including his fractured ankle and severe left‐side
injuries, were consistent with him being the driver; (5) two
accident reconstructionists opined that Fredrickson was the
driver; and (6) the driver‐side airbag may have caused the
pattern on Fredricksonʹs shirt.
State v. Fredrickson, No. A14‐0689, 2015 WL 1959695, at *6 (Minn. Ct. App. May 4, 2015).
In addition, when Fredrickson was served with a civil complaint, Fredrickson told the
process server that he had been driving the vehicle when it crashed, “then paused and
said, ‘well, we really don’t know who was driving.’” Id. at *2.
Based on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein,
the Court OVERRULES plaintiff’s objection [ECF No. 22] and ADOPTS the R&R [ECF
No. 21]. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiff’s habeas petition [ECF Nos. 1, 9] is DENIED.
No certificate of appealability will be issued.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
Dated: April 9, 2018
s/Patrick J. Schiltz
Patrick J. Schiltz
United States District Judge
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