Williams v. Davis
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER entered. The Court ORDERS as follows: The respondents motion for summary judgment [Doc. # 9] is GRANTED. The federal habeas corpus petition filed by Brian A. Williams [Doc. # 1] is DENIED, and this case is DISMISSED with prejudice. A certificate of appealability is DENIED. (Signed by Judge Nancy F Atlas) Parties notified. (wbostic, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
LORIE DAVIS, Director,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - §
Correctional Institutions Division,
August 23, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
BRIAN A. WILLIAMS,
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-16-3083
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
State inmate Brian A. Williams (TDCJ #1347966) has filed a petition for a writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging a felony conviction from
Montgomery County for unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. The respondent
has filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Williams is not entitled to
relief [Doc. # 9]. Williams has filed a reply [Doc. # 10] . After reviewing all of the
pleadings, the state court records, and the applicable law, the court will grant the
respondent’s motion and dismiss this case for reasons set forth below.
A Montgomery County grand jury returned an indictment against Williams in
cause number 14-04-03806-CR, charging him with unlawful possession of a firearm
as a felon in violation of § 46.04(a)(1) of the Texas Penal Code.1 That indictment,
which was enhanced for purposes of punishment, alleged that Williams had two prior
felony convictions for delivery of a controlled substance.2 The state presented
evidence that Williams threatened two men (Donald Avery and Andre Francisco)
while armed with a shotgun and that Williams was on parole for a prior felony when
he possessed that firearm, which was recovered from his home by police.3 A jury in
the 359th District Court for Montgomery County found Williams guilty as charged
in the indictment.4 After finding that the enhancement allegation was true, the trial
court sentenced Williams to 10 years’ imprisonment.5
Indictment [Doc. # 8-2], at 5.
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 3 [Doc. # 8-6], at 16-35, 59-67, 83-89, 118-34.
Verdict of the Jury [Doc. # 8-2], at 33.
Judgment of Conviction by Jury [Doc. # 8-2], at 34. An amended judgment was
subsequently entered to correct a typographical error. See Motion for Judgment Nunc Pro
Tunc [Doc. # 8-24], at 107; Nunc Pro Tunc Judgment of Conviction by Jury [Doc. # 8-24],
On direct appeal, Williams argued that the trial court erred by not allowing his
defense counsel to question potential jurors during voir dire about the defense of
necessity and by refusing his requested jury instructions on necessity and selfdefense.6 An intermediate court of appeals rejected both arguments after summarizing
the evidence presented at trial. See Williams v. State, No. 09-14-00217-CR, *1-4
(Tex. App. — Beaumont July 15, 2015). Williams did not pursue a petition for
discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Williams challenged his conviction further by filing an application for a state
writ of habeas corpus under Article 11.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.7
In that application, Williams argued that the shotgun seized from his home should
have been suppressed because police officers illegally retrieved the weapon after
entering his residence without a warrant or valid consent in violation of the Fourth
Amendment.8 Williams argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel
because his defense attorney failed to raise this argument at trial and failed to
adequately cross-examine the state’s primary witness against him.9 Williams argued
Appellant’s Brief [Doc. # 8-14], at 3 [Doc. # 8-15], at 4.
Application for State Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. # 8-24], at 6-22.
Id. at 19.
Id. at 11-14.
further that his appellate lawyer was deficient for failing to raise a Fourth Amendment
argument on appeal.10 After considering the entire record, the state habeas corpus
court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law, recommending that relief be
denied.11 The state habeas corpus court concluded, in particular, that Williams’s
challenge to the search was procedurally barred by his failure to raise that issue on
direct appeal and that his ineffective-assistance allegations were without merit.12 The
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed and denied relief without a written order on
the trial court’s written findings.13
Williams now seeks a federal writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to
challenge his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm. He raises essentially
the same claims that were rejected on state habeas corpus review.14 The respondent
moves for summary judgment, arguing that the petition must be dismissed because
Williams is not entitled to relief. The parties’ arguments are addressed below under
the federal habeas corpus standard of review.
Id. at 15-16.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Doc. # 8-24], at 74-77.
Action Taken on Writ No. 85,671-01 [Doc. # 8-22], at 1.
Petition [Doc. # 1], at 6-7.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
To the extent that the petitioner’s claims were adjudicated on the merits on state
habeas corpus review, the petition is subject to the legal standard found in the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), codified at 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d). Under the AEDPA standard, a federal habeas corpus court may not
grant relief unless the state court’s adjudication “resulted in a decision that was
contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States[.]” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d)(1). “A state court’s decision is deemed contrary to clearly established
federal law if it reaches a legal conclusion in direct conflict with a prior decision of
the Supreme Court or if it reaches a different conclusion than the Supreme Court on
materially indistinguishable facts.” Matamoros v. Stephens, 783 F.3d 212, 215 (5th
Cir. 2015) (citations omitted); see also Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404-08
(2000). To constitute an “unreasonable application of” clearly established federal law,
a state court’s holding “must be objectively unreasonable, not merely wrong; even
clear error will not suffice.” Woods v. Donald, — U.S. —, 135 S. Ct. 1372, 1376
(2015) (quoting White v. Woodall, — U.S. —, 134 S. Ct. 1697, 1702 (2014)). “To
satisfy this high bar, a habeas petitioner is required to ‘show that the state court’s
ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in justification that
there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any
possibility for fairminded disagreement.’” Woods, 135 S. Ct. at 1376 (quoting
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103 (2011)).
The AEDPA standard “imposes a ‘highly deferential standard for evaluating
state-court rulings, . . . [which] ‘demands that state-court decisions be given the
benefit of the doubt.” Renico v. Lett, 559 U.S. 766, 773 (2010) (citations omitted).
This standard is intentionally “difficult to meet” because it was meant to bar
relitigation of claims already rejected in state proceedings and to preserve federal
habeas review as “a ‘guard against extreme malfunctions in the state criminal justice
systems,’ not a substitute for ordinary error correction through appeal.” Richter, 562
U.S. at 102-03 (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 332, n.5 (1979) (Stevens,
J., concurring)); see also White, 134 S. Ct. at 1702. The deferential AEDPA standard
of review applies even where the state court fails to cite applicable Supreme Court
precedent or fails to explain its decision. See Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 7 (2002);
see also Richter, — U.S. —, 131 S. Ct. at 785 (confirming that “§ 2254(d) does not
require a state court to give reasons before its decision can be deemed to have been
‘adjudicated on the merits’”). Thus, a federal habeas corpus court’s inquiry is not
altered where the state court denies relief without a written opinion. See Schaetzle v.
Cockrell, 343 F.3d 440, 443 (5th Cir. 2003).
A state court’s factual determinations are also entitled to deference on federal
habeas corpus review. Findings of fact are “presumed to be correct” unless the
petitioner rebuts those findings with “clear and convincing evidence.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(e)(1). This presumption of correctness extends not only to express factual
findings, but also to the state court’s implicit findings. See Garcia v. Quarterman,
454 F.3d 441, 444-45 (5th Cir. 2006) (citing Summers v. Dretke, 431 F.3d 861, 876
(5th Cir. 2005); Young v. Dretke, 356 F.3d 616, 629 (5th Cir. 2004)). Where a claim
presents a question of fact, a petitioner cannot obtain federal habeas relief unless he
shows that the state court’s denial of relief “was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2). A federal habeas corpus court “may not
characterize these state-court factual determinations as unreasonable ‘merely because
[it] would have reached a different conclusion in the first instance.’” Brumfield v.
Cain, –– U.S. ––, 135 S. Ct. 2269, 2277 (2015) (quoting Wood v. Allen, 558 U.S. 290,
301 (2010)). “Instead, § 2254(d)(2) requires that [a federal court] accord the state trial
court substantial deference.” Id.
Claims Under the Fourth Amendment
Williams’s primary claim is that police officers unlawfully entered his home
and retrieved his shotgun without a warrant or valid consent in violation of the Fourth
Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.15
concedes that his “girlfriend” gave permission for officers to enter the home, but he
argues that she was not authorized to give consent for a search because she did not
actually live there and was only “an occasional sleep over.”16 When Williams
attempted to assert this argument on collateral review, the state habeas corpus court
concluded that it was “not cognizable” as the result of his failure to present this
record-based claim on direct appeal.17
As discussed further below, the record shows that Williams’s trial attorney
argued that police officers lacked consent to enter the residence and that the search
was unlawful, but his appellate lawyer did not raise this issue on direct appeal,
bypassing the opportunity to litigate the issue further. The respondent argues that this
claim is barred by the Supreme Court’s decision in Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 494
Petition [Doc. # 1], at 7.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Doc. # 8-24], p. 76.
(1976), which held that federal habeas review is not available for a Fourth
Amendment claim where the defendant had an opportunity to litigate the issue in state
court. The respondent argues, alternatively, that review is barred by the doctrine of
procedural default because the last state court to consider the issue concluded that the
claim was barred as the result of Williams’s failure to challenge the search and seizure
of the shotgun on direct appeal.
The Court agrees that federal review of Williams’s Fourth Amendment claim
is barred under Stone v. Powell and for purposes of the doctrine of procedural default
for reasons elaborated by the respondent. In the interest of judicial economy and
efficiency, however, the court pretermits an extended discussion of these issues
because, as discussed further below in connection with Williams’s ineffectiveassistance claims, he does not establish that a violation of the Fourth Amendment
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Williams argues that he was denied effective assistance of counsel at trial and
on direct appeal because his attorney failed to argue that the police lacked valid
consent to enter his home and seize his shotgun.18 Williams argues further that his
trial attorney was constitutionally ineffective for failing to adequately cross-examine
Petition [Doc. # 1], at 6.
the state’s primary witness against him.19 These allegations were rejected by the state
habeas corpus court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on state collateral
As the state habeas corpus court correctly noted, a criminal defendant’s
ineffective-assistance claim is analyzed under the clearly establish standard set forth
in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). To prevail under the Strickland
standard, a defendant must demonstrate both constitutionally deficient performance
by counsel and actual prejudice as a result of the alleged deficiency. See id. at 687.
“Unless a defendant makes both showings, it cannot be said that the
conviction . . . resulted from a breakdown in the adversary process that rendered the
result unreliable.” Id. Thus, the failure to demonstrate deficient performance or
prejudice is fatal to an ineffective-assistance claim. See id. at 683; Green v. Johnson,
160 F.3d 1029, 1035 (5th Cir. 1998).
To demonstrate deficient performance, “the defendant must show that counsel’s
representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.” Strickland, 466
U.S. at 688. This is a “highly deferential” inquiry in which “counsel is strongly
presumed to have rendered adequate assistance” and that the challenged conduct was
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Doc. # 8-24], p. 76 (citing Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)).
the product of reasoned trial strategy. Id. at 690. To overcome this presumption, a
defendant must identify the acts or omissions of counsel that are alleged not to have
been the result of reasonable professional judgment. Id. However, a mere error by
counsel, even if professionally unreasonable, does not warrant setting aside the
judgment of a criminal proceeding if the error had no effect on the judgment. Id. at
691. To establish the requisite prejudice, “[t]he defendant must show that there is a
reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the
proceeding would have been different.” Id. at 694.
Because the petitioner’s ineffective-assistance claim was rejected on state
habeas review, the central question is not whether this Court “‘believes the state
court’s determination’ under the Strickland standard ‘was incorrect but whether the
determination was unreasonable — a substantially higher standard.’” Knowles v.
Mirzayance, 556 U.S. 111, 123 (2009) (quoting Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465,
478 (2007)) (emphasis added). In addition, “because the Strickland standard is a
general standard, a state court has even more latitude to reasonably determine that a
defendant has not satisfied that standard.” Id. When applied together with the highly
deferential standard found in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), review of ineffective-assistance
claims is “doubly deferential” on habeas corpus review. Knowles, 556 U.S. at 123;
see also Richter, 562 U.S. at 105 (emphasizing that the standards created by
Strickland and § 2254(d) are both “highly deferential,” and “‘doubly’ so” when
applied in tandem) (citations and quotations omitted); Beatty v Stephens, 759 F.3d
455, 463 (5th Cir. 2014) (same). Thus, the state court’s decision must be upheld on
federal habeas review if there is any “reasonable argument that counsel satisfied
Strickland’s deferential standard.” Richter, 562 U.S. at 105.
Failure to Raise a Fourth Amendment Claim
Williams argues that the shotgun retrieved from his residence was unlawfully
seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment because officers did not have a warrant
and his girlfriend lacked authority to give consent for a search.21 Williams contends,
therefore, that his trial attorney was deficient for failing to raise a meritorious motion
to suppress under the Fourth Amendment and that his appellate attorney was also
deficient for failing to raise the same argument on direct appeal.22
An attorney’s failure to file a motion to suppress or to adequately litigate a
Fourth Amendment claim may constitute deficient performance if the evidence would
have been suppressed as a result of the motion. See Ward v. Dretke, 420 F.3d 479,
488 (5th Cir. 2005). The petitioner bears the burden of proving that the evidence
admitted at his trial would have been suppressed as a result of an adequate motion or
Petition [Doc. # 1], at 6-7.
Id. at 6.
objection by his counsel. See Kimmelman v. Morrison, 477 U.S. 365, 375 (1986).
Williams does not meet that burden here.
Defense counsel argued before the start of trial that the shotgun retrieved from
Williams’s home was inadmissible and the trial court carried over that issue for
consideration during the state’s case-in-chief.23 During that proceeding, Officer Jose
Herrera and Sergeant James Kelemen of the Conroe Police Department testified that
they went to Williams’s home to investigate Donald Avery and Andre Francisco’s
report that a man, who they identified as Williams, threatened them with a shotgun
because he believed they were trespassing.24 Williams admitted to Officer Herrera
that he had a confrontation with Avery and Francisco, who were trespassing on his
family’s property, and Williams also admitted possessing a shotgun, which reportedly
belonged to a relative.25 The officers determined that Williams was on parole for a
felony conviction and was not allowed to possess a firearm.26 While Officer Herrera
spoke to Williams, Sergeant Kelemen asked Williams’s fiancé, Loretta Hernandez, if
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 2 [Doc. # 8-5], at 5-7; Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 4
[Doc. # 8-7], at 6-10, 31.
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 3 [Doc. # 8-6], at 65-67, 119-21.
Id. at 65-67; Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 4 [Doc. # 8-7], at 19-25.
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 3 [Doc. # 8-6], at 128-31.
they could go inside the home so that he could speak with her alone.27 Hernandez,
who told Kelemen that she lived at the home, consented to let him into the residence.28
Kelemen retrieved the shotgun after Hernandez voluntarily showed him where it was
hidden.29 The officers’ conversations with Williams and Hernandez were recorded in
audio and video by a “body-cam.”30
Defense counsel attacked the validity of the search, noting that the officers did
not obtain a warrant or request consent from Williams, but Sergeant Kelemen insisted
that Hernandez told him she lived at the house and gave permission for him to enter
before she voluntarily showed him where the shotgun was located.31 The trial court
ultimately denied the motion to suppress, noting that defense counsel failed to timely
reassert his objection when the shotgun was admitted and concluding in the alternative
that the officer who recovered the weapon had consent to enter the premises.32
Nevertheless, the trial court granted defense counsel’s request for a jury instruction
on the issue of whether consent was validly given for the search and defense counsel
Id. at 122, 130.
Id. at 131-32, 137, 146-47.
Id. at 123-24, 131-32.
Id. at 74-80, 139, 142; Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 4 [Doc. # 8-7], at 22.
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 3 [Doc. # 8-6], at 135-43.
Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 4 [Doc. # 8-7], at 6-9.
argued in his summation that the search was unlawful because Hernandez lacked
authority to permit entry into Williams’s home.33 The jury disregarded all of defense
counsel’s arguments and found Williams guilty as charged.
The state habeas corpus court, which also presided over Williams’s trial, found
that Williams and the assertions of fact offered in support of his Fourth Amendment
claim were “not credible.”34 The state court found as a matter of fact that a woman
who called herself “[Williams’s] fiancé voluntarily allowed officers to go inside the
residence she shared with [Williams], and she voluntarily directed officers to the
location of the shotgun.”35 The state court concluded further that “[a]mple evidence
from several credible sources established that [Williams] held a shotgun despite being
on felony parole; therefore, the recovery of the firearm itself was not required to
Charge to the Jury [Doc. # 8-2], at 30; Court Reporter’s Record, vol. 4 [Doc. # 8-7],
at 31, 47-50. Under Texas law, a defendant may raise the issue of whether there was valid
consent to a search in the jury charge and let the jury decide whether the evidence should be
disregarded or suppressed. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 38.23(a); see also Defendant’s
Ex. 5, Requested Instruction Regarding Consent to Search [Doc. # 3], at 14.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Doc. # 8-24], at 75.
secure a conviction.”36 As a result, the state court concluded that Williams was not
denied effective assistance of counsel in violation of the Constitution.37
Credibility findings, such as those made by the state habeas corpus court with
respect to Williams’s allegations, are entitled to substantial deference on federal
habeas review. See Coleman v. Quarterman, 456 F.3d 537, 541 (5th Cir. 2006) (citing
Guidry v. Dretke, 397 F.3d 306, 326 (5th Cir. 2005)). It is well established that a state
court’s factual findings and credibility determinations are presumed correct for
purposes of federal habeas corpus review unless they are rebutted with “clear and
convincing evidence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Valdez v. Cockrell, 274 F.3d 941, 947
(5th Cir. 2001); see also Mays v. Stephens, 757 F.3d 211, 214 (5th Cir. 2014) (“The
presumption [of correctness] is especially strong when the state habeas court and the
trial court are one in the same.”) (quoting Clark v. Johnson, 202 F.3d 760, 764 (5th
Cir. 2000)); Boyle v. Johnson, 93 F.3d 180, 186 (5th Cir. 1996) (“The presumption is
particularly strong where, as here, the habeas court was the same court that presided
over the trial.”).
Williams presents no evidence to rebut the state court’s finding that his fiancé
occupied the residence and gave valid consent for police to enter. Absent clear and
Id. at 76 (citing Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)).
convincing evidence to the contrary, the state court’s fact findings are presumed
correct. Williams does not otherwise establish that Hernandez lacked authority to
allow Sergeant Kelemen entry into the home or that a Fourth Amendment violation
occurred. See Fernandez v. California, 134 S. Ct. 1126, 1132-36 (2014) (consent by
one occupant of a jointly shared residence is sufficient to justify a warrantless search
unless the cotenant is physically present and unequivocally refuses consent); see also
Heien v. North Carolina, 135 S. Ct. 530, 536 (2014) (observing that the warrantless
search of a home “is reasonable if undertaken with the consent of a resident, and
remains lawful when officers obtain the consent of someone who reasonably appears
to be but is not in fact a resident”) (citing Illinois v. Rodriguez, 497 U.S. 177, 183-86
(1990)). Absent a showing that his counsel had a valid objection or motion to make,
Williams fails to show that his defense attorney was deficient.
Even if counsel was somehow deficient, Williams does not establish prejudice
because, as the state habeas corpus court observed, his conviction did not depend on
evidence of the shotgun seized from his residence. As noted above, Donald Avery
testified that Williams pointed the shotgun at him and Andre Francisco in a
threatening manner and Williams admitted to Officer Hernandez that he had been in
possession of a shotgun while on felony parole. Based on this record, Williams does
not establish that the result of his trial would have been any different, but for the
shotgun found at his house. Likewise, Williams fails to show that he would have
prevailed if his attorney had raised the issue on appeal. Because Williams does not
demonstrate deficient performance or actual prejudice, he does not show that the state
court’s conclusion on this issue was unreasonable. Therefore, he is not entitled to
relief on his claim concerning trial and appellate counsel’s failure to raise a Fourth
Failure to Impeach a Witness
Williams contends that his trial attorney was deficient for failing to adequately
cross-examine the state’s “key witness” with a prior inconsistent statement.38
Williams does not identify any particular witness and he provides no details about the
content of the statement at issue.39 His conclusory allegation is insufficient to
establish either deficient performance or actual prejudice. Day v. Quarterman, 566
F.3d 527, 540 (5th Cir. 2009) (citing United States v. Irby, 103 F.3d 126 (5th Cir.
1996) (unpublished) (denying ineffective assistance claim based on counsel’s failure
“to adequately cross-examine a number of government witnesses” because petitioner
“fail[ed] to set forth . . . the possible impact of any additional cross-examination”)).
The state habeas corpus court reached the same conclusion, finding that Williams
Petitioner’s Memorandum of Law in Support of his 2254 [Doc. # 3], at 4-5.
See id.; Petition [Doc. # 1], at 6; Petitioner’s Traverse to the Return [Doc. # 10], at 1-
failed to show that his trial counsel had any basis to impeach the state’s key witness
(Donald Avery).40 Williams does not show that the state court’s conclusion was
unreasonable and he does not otherwise establish that he is entitled to relief on this
claim. Because Williams does not raise any valid ground for relief in this case, the
respondent is entitled to summary judgment and the federal habeas corpus petition
must be denied.
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases requires a district court to
issue or deny a certificate of appealability when entering a final order that is adverse
to the petitioner. A certificate of appealability will not issue unless the petitioner
makes “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right,” 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2), which requires a petitioner to demonstrate “that reasonable jurists would
find the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or wrong.”
Tennard v. Dretke, 542 U.S. 274, 282 (2004) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S.
473, 484 (2000)). Under the controlling standard, this requires a petitioner to show
“that reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for that matter, agree that) the
petition should have been resolved in a different manner or that the issues presented
were ‘adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.’” Miller-El v. Cockrell,
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Doc. # 8-24], at 75.
537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003). Where denial of relief is based on procedural grounds, the
petitioner must show not only that “jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right,” but also that
they “would find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural
ruling.” Slack, 529 U.S. at 484.
A district court may deny a certificate of appealability, sua sponte, without
requiring further briefing or argument. See Alexander v. Johnson, 211 F.3d 895, 898
(5th Cir. 2000). After careful review of the pleadings and the applicable law, the
Court concludes that reasonable jurists would not find the assessment of the
constitutional claims debatable or wrong. Because the petitioner does not otherwise
allege facts showing that his claims could be resolved in a different manner, a
certificate of appealability will not issue in this case.
Based on the foregoing, the Court ORDERS as follows:
The respondent’s motion for summary judgment [Doc. # 9] is
The federal habeas corpus petition filed by Brian A. Williams [Doc. # 1]
is DENIED, and this case is DISMISSED with prejudice.
A certificate of appealability is DENIED.
The Clerk shall provide a copy of this order to the parties.
SIGNED at Houston, Texas, on
NANCY F. ATLAS
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?