United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
WILLIAM G. YOUNG DISTRICT JUDGE
Pearson ("Pearson") is serving two state prison
sentences concurrently: one for breaking and, entering and
another for larceny over $250. He has petitioned this Court
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section
2254, arguing that he was not afforded a full and fair
opportunity to litigate his Fourth Amendment claim because
the Massachusetts Appeals Court ("Appeals Court")
failed to analyze a police officer's subjective intent
under the independent source doctrine. Pet. 28 U.S.C. §
2254 Writ Habeas Corpus ("Pet."), ECF No. 1. Sean
Medeiros ("Medeiros"), the superintendent of
MCI-Norfolk, opposes the petition in its entirety, arguing
that Pearson's claim was indeed subject to a full and
fair litigation in state court, including an evidentiary
hearing before trial and a full appeal. Mem. Law Supp. Mot.
Dismiss. ("Resp't's Mem.") 4-7, ECF No. 18.
For the reasons discussed below, this Court GRANTS
Medeiros's motion to dismiss.
April 4, 2014, in the Massachusetts Superior Court sitting in
and for the County of Norfolk, a jury convicted Pearson of
four counts of breaking and entering with the intent to
commit a felony during the daytime in violation of
Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 266, section 18, and four
counts of larceny over $250 in violation of Massachusetts
General Laws, chapter 266, section 30(1). Commonwealth v.
Pearson, 90 Mass.App.Ct. 289, 290 (2016). Pearson was
sentenced to concurrent state prison terms of six to eight
years for breaking and entering, and four and a half to five
years for larceny. Mem. Law Supp. Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus,
Ex. 20, Apr. 9, 2016 Sentencing Tr. 25-26, ECF No. 3-20.
appealed on the ground that "the trial court denied his
motion to suppress based on a flawed application of the
independent source doctrine." Mem. Law Supp. Pet. Writ
Habeas Corpus ("Pet'r's Mem.") 5, ECF No.
3. On September 20, 2016, the Appeals Court affirmed the
trial court's decision. Pearson, 90 Mass.App.Ct.
at 294. Pearson's application for leave to obtain further
appellate review in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
was denied on November 30, 2016. Commonwealth v.
Pearson, 476 Mass. 1105 (2016).
January 25, 2017, Pearson filed a petition for writ of habeas
corpus in this Court under 28 U.S.C. section 2254. Pet.;
Pet'r's Mem. Medeiros moved to dismiss. Resp't
Medeiros's Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 17; Resp't's
Factual Background 
January 31, 2012 through February 8, 2012, the Brookline
police responded to five reports of residential breaking and
entering. Pearson, 90 Mass.App.Ct. at 290. Victims
reported valuables missing, including jewelry and credit
cards. Id. One victim reported that his stolen
credit card had been fraudulently used at a number of local
retailers. Id. Surveillance footage from three of
these stores showed a Hispanic female in her mid-to-late
thirties using the card; footage from the fourth store
depicted a woman in a different outfit but with a similar
appearance using the card. Id. A store employee told
the police that the woman had been accompanied by a
dark-skinned black male, estimated to be in his mid-to-late
February 7, 2012, the Brookline police responded to a
breaking and entering in Cambridge, where a driver's
license for Jenell Johnson ("Johnson'') was
found. Id. The victim said that she did not know
Johnson. Id. Using information from Johnson's
driver's license, the police found booking photographs
from a 2011 breaking and entering. Id. at 290-91.
The 2011 incident had resulted in the arrests of Johnson and
Washington. Id. at 291. The police determined that
Johnson and Washington's 2011 booking photographs
corresponded with the appearance of the suspects in the
surveillance footage. Id. An employee from one of
the retail stores was given a photo array and identified
Johnson and Washington as the customers making fraudulent
police reported to Johnson and Washington's residence on
February 9, 2012, stating that they had warrants for the two
suspects' arrests. Id. Johnson answered the
door, was taken into custody, and advised of her
Miranda rights. Id. At the officers'
request, Johnson directed the police to a bedroom with items
allegedly purchased with the stolen credit card. Id.
The officers observed items matching the description of
fraudulently purchased merchandise and stolen goods in plain
view. Id. The officers asked Johnson for her consent
to search the apartment. Id. Johnson refused,
stating that it was not her home and any items inside might
not belong to her. Id. The officers apprehended
Washington in a third floor bathroom. Id.
and Washington were arrested and taken to police headquarters
while officers remained at the home to secure the premises
and await a search warrant. Id. While there, the
police spoke with the homeowner, who identified himself as
Johnson's stepfather. Id. He told the officers
that Washington had stayed at the residence for the past five
or six weeks. Johnson's stepfather also noted that he had
discovered a bag in a trash can outside of the house with
silverware, jewelry bags, and a prescription bottle with the
name of one of the breaking and entering victims.