United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
DOUGLAS P. WOODLOCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Michael Toldness, who was convicted of various felony
domestic abuse crimes in state court, filed this petition for
habeas corpus relief from this court under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. His custodian, Respondent Kelly Ryan, has moved to
dismiss the petition. I will grant Respondent's motion.
2012, Petitioner was indicted on fourteen counts stemming
from his alleged attack on his wife on December 25, 2011.
Commonwealth v. Toldness, 28 N.E.3d 14 (Table), 2015
WL 1650066, at *1 (Mass. App. Ct. 2015).
first indictment charged Petitioner with aggravated rape in
count one, armed burglary in count two, aggravated assault
and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a person with a
protective order in count three, aggravated assault and
battery on a person with a protective order in count four,
violation of an abuse prevention order in count five, larceny
over $250 in count six, aggravated assault and battery on a
person with a protective order in count seven, violation of
an abuse prevention order in counts eight and nine,
threatening to commit a crime in count ten, assault by means
of a dangerous weapon in count eleven, and threatening to
commit a crime in count twelve. Id. at *1 n.2. In a
second indictment, Petitioner was charged with intimidating a
witness and violating an abuse prevention order. Id.
January 22, 2013, a jury in Norfolk Superior Court found
Petitioner guilty on counts two, three, four, five, seven,
eight, nine, and ten of the first indictment and both counts
of the second indictment. Id. As to counts one
and six of the first indictment, the jury found Petitioner
guilty of the lesser included offenses of indecent assault
and battery and larceny under $250. Id. The Appeals
Court affirmed his conviction. Id. The Supreme
Judicial Court denied further review. Commonwealth v.
Toldness, 32 N.E.3d 316 (Mass. 2015).
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
provides that “a writ of habeas corpus will not be
granted unless the state court's adjudication of the
claim on the merits ‘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, ' or ‘resulted in a
decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of
the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State
court proceeding.'” Jenkins v. Bergeron,
824 F.3d 148, 152 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d)(1)-(2)) (citations omitted).
state court decision is ‘contrary to' clearly
established federal law if it ‘contradicts the
governing law set forth in the Supreme Court's cases or
confronts a set of facts that are materially
indistinguishable from a decision of the Supreme Court'
but reaches a different result.” Gaskins v.
Duval, 640 F.3d 443, 451-52 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting
John v. Russo, 561 F.3d 88, 96 (1st Cir. 2009)). A
state court “unreasonably applies” clearly
established law “if it applies Supreme Court precedent
to the facts of the case in an objectively unreasonable
manner, such as reaching a result that is ‘devoid of
record support' for its conclusion.” Id.
at 452 (quoting McCambridge v. Hall, 303 F.3d 24, 37
(1st Cir. 2002)) (citations omitted).
pursues two grounds for relief in this court.First, he argues
that the trial judge's refusal to provide the jury
instruction he requested regarding the unlawful entry
component of the armed burglary charge deprived him of a fair
trial. Second, he argues that the Commonwealth's expert
regarding domestic abuse provided improper testimony that in
turn deprived him of a fair trial.
Denial of Petitioner's Requested Unlawful Entry
General Laws c. 266, ' 14 sets forth the offense of armed
burglary in Massachusetts:
Whoever breaks and enters a dwelling house in the night time,
with intent to commit a felony, or whoever, after having
entered with such intent, breaks such dwelling house in the
night time, any person being then lawfully therein, and the
offender being armed with a dangerous weapon at the time of
such breaking or entry, or so arming himself in such house,
or making an actual assault on a person lawfully therein,
shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for
life or for any term of not less than ten years.
law is settled that “‘[t]he term
‘enters' within the statute is given no special
definition. Nonetheless, the word is to be construed as an
unlawful entry, consistent with its use in a criminal
context.'” Commonwealth v. Mahar, 722
N.E.2d 461, 465 ...