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Carriere v. Medeiros

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

June 22, 2017

EDMOND J. CARRIERE, JR., Petitioner,
v.
SUPERINTENDENT SEAN MEDEIROS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON AMENDED PETITION FOR A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          F. Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge.

         This is a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Edmond Carriere, Jr. is an inmate at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk.[1]

         I. Background

         On January 3, 1980, Edmond Carriere's estranged wife Frances was murdered in her home in Bourne, Massachusetts. An intruder engaged Frances in a struggle, during which she fell to the floor, hit her head on a radiator, and was rendered unconscious. The assailant then stabbed her multiple times in the chest.

         Carriere was tried in Barnstable County Superior Court 32 years later. In substance, the evidence showed that he devised the contract killing of his wife. Carriere reached out to a local drug dealer and acquaintance, Richard Grebauski, and asked him to murder Frances for pay. Grebauski agreed to take the job and recruited Steven Stewart to kill Frances, as Stewart was indebted to him for $500 for the purchase of cocaine. At the time of the murder, Carriere was in Florida with his daughters, which the Commonwealth maintained was a premeditated alibi. Witness testimony further showed that during his contentious divorce from Frances, Carriere had asked friends on more than one occasion whether they would be willing to kill Frances for money.

         The prosecution case relied heavily on testimony from Stewart concerning the joint venture between Carriere, Grebauski, and himself. Stewart was originally convicted of Frances's murder in June 2005. However, that conviction was overturned on appeal. Shortly thereafter, Stewart entered into a plea agreement with the government, in which he agreed to testify against Carriere in exchange for a sentence of time served.

         The jury convicted Carriere of murder in the first degree, on theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty. He was sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without parole. Carriere appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which affirmed the conviction in a lengthy and detailed opinion. See Commonwealth v. Carriere, 470 Mass. 1 (Mass. 2014).

         On October 1, 2015, Carriere filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, which was amended on October 11, 2016. It appears that he asserts four grounds for relief in his amended pro se petition:

(1) denial of the right to a fair trial and to confrontation by the admission of certain hearsay statements;
(2) denial of the right to a fair trial by the admission of various statements that were more prejudicial than probative;
(3) denial of the right to a fair trial because the trial judge prohibited him from entering specific testimony from a government witness that supported his defense; and
(4) denial of the right to a fair trial because of the prosecutor's inflammatory closing argument, which contained misstatements of law.

         Among other things, respondent contends that Carriere has failed to exhaust his state-court remedies.

         II. ...


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