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Reaves v. Vidal
United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
December 31, 2019
TIMOTHY REAVES, Petitioner,
OSVALDO VIDAL, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani, United States District Judge.
the court is Petitioner Timothy Reaves' Petition Under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus
(“Petition”) [#1]. Petitioner is serving a life
sentence in state custody. Respondent Osvaldo Vidal's
Opposition to Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus (“Resp't's Mem. Opp'n.”) [#37]
contends that the claims Petitioner asserted in his
Memorandum in Support of the the Petition
(“Pet'r's Mem.”) [#36] were reviewed and
denied on procedural grounds at the state level. Petitioner
has filed a Memorandum in Response (“Pet'r's
Suppl. Resp.”) [#40] in which he contends that there is
cause for and prejudice from the procedural default such that
the claims should not be barred. For reasons discussed below,
the Petition [#1] is DENIED on grounds of procedural
Factual & Procedural History
1996, Petitioner was convicted of murder in the first-degree
under a theory of joint venture for the drive-by shooting of
fourteen-year-old Daniel Correia. Pet. 1 [#1];
Commonwealth v. Reaves, 434 Mass. 383, 389
(2001). Petitioner was sentenced to life without
the possibility of parole. Pet. 1 [#1]. The Massachusetts
Supreme Judicial Court's (“SJC”) account of
the facts that could be found from evidence presented at
trial, as presently relevant, follows:
At around 3 P.M. on April 15, 1994, [Reaves] and three
companions (Scott Rose, Richard Hazard, and Michael Coull)
came to Magnet Park in New Bedford to buy drugs. They
approached Joseph Correia (the brother of the victim), and
Rose asked Correia if he had a “bundle of dope
[heroin].” Correia said that he did. However, when
[Reaves] pulled out some money to proceed with the
transaction, Correia snatched the money from [Reaves']
hands and told him “there ain't no drugs around
here, you got beat for your money.”
During this exchange, three of Correia's companions came
over, one of whom (Landon Arnum) was acquainted with
[Reaves]. [Reaves], apparently offended by Correia's
treatment, told Arnum, “Tell this kid [Correia] who I
am. I'm from the old school.” Other witnesses
recalled more remarks in a similar vein (“Stop trying
to play me.” “Tell them I'm not to be fucked
with.” “I ain't no joke”). One of
Correia's friends then advised Correia to give [Reaves]
his money back, observing that [Reaves] was probably unaware
of the efforts to end drug selling in the park. Correia
handed the money back.
This gesture did not mollify [Reaves]. He pulled out more
money and said, “If you want to beat me, beat me
right.” [Reaves] then began arguing with another of
Correia's companions, Shane Arnum. The argument ended
abruptly when Shane Arnum punched [Reaves] in the jaw,
knocking him unconscious. . . .
. . . .
Scott Rose then picked up [Reaves], carried him to
[Rose's] car, and placed him in the back seat, still
unconscious. Rose threatened, “We'll be back to
spray it up.” He was also heard asking the others,
“Who got the strap [gun]?” Landon Arnum testified
that he saw [Reaves] “coming through” as the four
prepared to leave. As they left, the men in the car,
including [Reaves], repeated the threat, “We'll be
Two hours later, [Reaves], Rose, Coull, and Hazard arrived at
the home of Patricia Chaney and William Watson in Taunton,
some twenty-five miles away . . . . When Watson arrived, Rose
met him in the driveway and said, “I need a
favor.” [Reaves], whose face was still bloodied from
the earlier blow, went to the bathroom to clean up. Rose and
Watson proceeded into the parlor, at which point Rose told
Watson, “I need one of your guns. All of my boys are
packing and I don't have one.” . . . .
Patricia Chaney testified that [Reaves] and Coull soon joined
the others in the parlor, and that all four men were in the
parlor with William Watson for ten to fifteen minutes. . . .
A short while later, [Chaney] saw the four men emerge from
the parlor with the gun. They concealed the weapon in a
plastic trash bag and left the house carrying the concealed
Around 7 P.M. that evening, [Reaves], Rose, Coull, and Hazard
returned to Magnet Park in Rose's car. Rose was driving.
Hazard was in the front passenger seat with the shotgun.
Coull was sitting behind the driver, and [Reaves] was sitting
behind Hazard. The two in the front had bandanas pulled over
their faces. The men in the back seat wore sunglasses and
Many people were still outside in front of the housing
development adjacent to the park, including Joseph Correia
and the companions who had been with him during the
confrontation earlier that afternoon. Correia was sitting on
the hood of a parked car. His younger brother, Daniel
Correia, was sitting on the trunk of the same car.
As Rose drove up the street toward Joseph Correia's
group, gunshots rang out from the car. Two weapons were
firing, one out the front driver's side window and
another out the rear driver's side window. As Joseph
Correia ducked behind the parked car, he was shot in the leg.
Another shot hit Daniel Correia, who fell to the ground.
Other shots were fired in the general direction of the
housing development striking a car, a door, and windows as
high as the third floor. Joseph and Daniel Correia were the
only two people hit. Daniel died shortly thereafter of a
single bullet wound through the heart.
The car carrying the gunmen sped from the scene, but was
followed by a man on a motorcycle. Specific information about
the car, including its whereabouts and direction, were soon
relayed to the police. As police cars came into view of
Rose's vehicle, the driver in the car behind Rose saw a
black object thrown out one of the passenger side windows.
The witness later brought police back to the spot, where they
retrieved a nine millimeter handgun. A ballistics expert
opined that the bullet taken from Daniel Correia's body
had been fired from that same handgun. Rose led police on a
chase with speeds in excess of one hundred miles an hour,
breaking through a police roadblock in Taunton. The chase
ended when Rose's vehicle crashed into another car.
Hazard got out of the front passenger side and attempted to
flee on foot. Rose was slumped over the steering wheel. Coull
had been ejected part way out the rear driver's side
window. [Reaves] was in the rear passenger seat, having
suffered a spinal fracture. As police came upon the accident
scene immediately following the crash, an officer saw a
shotgun thrown out a passenger side window. The shotgun was
later identified as the one Rose had borrowed from William
Watson earlier that evening.
Reaves, 434 Mass. at 384-87 (footnotes omitted). In
a footnote, the SJC stated further:
[Reaves] was removed from the car by police and taken to the
hospital. According to the police officer who saw him at the
hospital, and according to the medical records, [Reaves] was
still moving his arms at that time. He was unable to move his
legs. The accident has rendered [Reaves] quadriplegic, with
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