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Martin v. Martin

Supreme Court of West Virginia

January 8, 2018

Jackie M. Martin, Petitioner Below, Petitioner
Michael Martin, Acting Warden, Huttonsville Correctional Center, Respondent Below, Respondent

         Wood County 12-P-147


         Petitioner Jackie M. Martin, by counsel Reggie R. Bailey, appeals the Circuit Court of Wood County's October 13, 2016, order denying his amended second petition for writ of habeas corpus. Respondent Michael Martin, Acting Warden, by counsel Robert L. Hogan, filed a response. [1] On appeal, petitioner argues that the circuit court erred in denying him habeas corpus relief when he was denied effective assistance of prior habeas counsel and due to the imposition of unconstitutional sentences for his kidnapping and second-degree robbery convictions.

         This Court has considered the parties' briefs and the record on appeal. The facts and legal arguments are adequately presented, and the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument. Upon consideration of the standard of review, the briefs, and the record presented, the Court finds no substantial question of law and no prejudicial error. For these reasons, a memorandum decision affirming the circuit court's order is appropriate under Rule 21 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

         In January of 2000, petitioner was indicted on one count each of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, impersonation of a law-enforcement officer, extortion, and first-degree sexual abuse. These charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in Williamstown, West Virginia, on January 6, 2000. Petitioner made repeated and threatening calls to a female acquaintance, the victim in this matter, at her place of work demanding $150. The victim left work early due to being upset and fearful over these threatening calls. As the victim was walking home from work, petitioner drove up and demanded that she get into his vehicle. Petitioner drove the victim to her apartment, where he verbally, physically, and sexually abused her in an effort to induce her to provide him the money. While petitioner and the victim were at the victim's apartment, the victim's grandmother arrived after learning that the victim had left work. The victim testified that petitioner was holding her wrist tightly during the time that her grandmother was there, so she did not alert her grandmother to the danger she was in for fear that petitioner would hurt her more or harm her grandmother. Ultimately, the victim's grandmother left, and the victim obtained a payday loan to provide petitioner the $150 he demanded. The victim later reported petitioner to the police, and he was arrested that evening.

         At trial, petitioner asserted an alibi defense. Surveillance footage from the victim's place of work showed her leaving work at approximately 8:12 a.m. The victim lived close to her place of work, and she testified that petitioner picked her up not long after she left work. Petitioner, however, presented evidence that he dropped his wife off at work shortly before 8:00 a.m., was at the dry cleaners shortly before 8:02 a.m., picked up an acquaintance by the name of Tammy Hoose to take to school, stopped by Flanders Brothers Insurance Agency ("Flanders"), and then dropped Ms. Hoose off at school. Ms. Hoose proceeded to sign-in at school, marking 8:45 a.m. as her arrival time. All of these actions purportedly took place across the river from Williamstown, in Marietta, Ohio.

         Janet Wunder, an employee of Flanders, testified that petitioner was at Flanders on January 6, 2000, for only a few minutes at some point between 8:20 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. She recounted that petitioner entered her workplace and asked to speak with another employee, Julie Hupp. Ms. Hupp, however, was out of the office for a doctor's appointment. Ms. Wunder informed petitioner of this fact, and petitioner left the office. Ms. Wunder also testified that she recalled seeing a news report of petitioner's arrest later that evening; however, an employee of the local news station testified that news of petitioner's arrest did not air until approximately one week after his arrest, thereby calling into question the date on which Ms. Wunder saw petitioner. Ms. Wunder's work calendar, however, contained a notation of Ms. Hupp's doctor's appointment on January 6. Ms. Hupp also later provided a doctor's note confirming her January 6, 2000, appointment. Petitioner's trial counsel did not present the work calendar or doctor's note, and he did not call Ms. Hupp as a witness.

         At the conclusion of petitioner's trial, the jury found him guilty of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, extortion, and first-degree sexual abuse. Petitioner was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation of mercy for kidnapping, forty years of incarceration for aggravated robbery, one year to five years of incarceration for extortion, and one year to five years of incarceration for first-degree sexual abuse. Petitioner's sentences for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and first-degree sexual abuse were ordered to run consecutively, while petitioner's extortion sentence was ordered to run concurrently to the other sentences.[2] Petitioner filed a direct appeal, which this Court refused on May 9, 2001.

          Petitioner filed his first petition for writ of habeas corpus on May 6, 2002. Following the appointment of counsel and the filing of an amended first petition, the circuit court held an omnibus hearing. Following the hearing, the parties submitted supplemental briefing. On May 1, 2006, the circuit court denied petitioner's amended first petition. This Court refused petitioner's appeal of the denial of his amended first petition on November 28, 2006.

         Petitioner filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus on April 11, 2012, which is the subject of the instant appeal. Petitioner was appointed counsel and filed an amended second petition. The circuit court held an omnibus hearing on petitioner's amended second petition. By order entered on October 13, 2016, petitioner's amended second petition was denied. It is from this order that petitioner appeals.

         This Court reviews appeals of circuit court orders denying habeas corpus relief under the following standard:

"In reviewing challenges to the findings and conclusions of the circuit court in a habeas corpus action, we apply a three-prong standard of review. We review the final order and the ultimate disposition under an abuse of discretion standard; the underlying factual findings under a clearly erroneous standard; and questions of law are subject to a de novo review." Syllabus point 1, Mathena v. Haines, 219 W.Va. 417, 633 S.E.2d 771 (2006).

Syl. Pt. 1, State ex rel. Franklin v. McBride, 226 W.Va. 375, 701 S.E.2d 97 (2009).

We also bear in mind that
[a] prior omnibus habeas corpus hearing is res judicata as to all matters raised and as to all matters known or which with reasonable diligence could have been known; however, an applicant may still petition the court on the following grounds: ineffective assistance of counsel at the omnibus habeas corpus hearing; newly discovered evidence; or, a ...

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