United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EACAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus action. After the Court
denied Respondent's motion to dismiss, see Dkt.
# 12, Respondent filed a response to the petition (Dkt. #
13), and provided the state court records necessary for
resolution of Petitioner's claims. See Dkt. ##
13, 14. Petitioner, a state inmate appearing pro se, filed a
reply (Dkt. # 17) to the response. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court finds that the petition shall be denied.
approximately 9:00 p.m., on August 16, 2005, an unmarked van
with tinted windows carrying five (5) Tulsa Police Department
(TPD) officers pulled into the parking lot of the Dash In, a
convenience store located at 1500 East Apache Street in
Tulsa, Oklahoma. Present in the van were Officers James
Comstock, Jeff Henderson, Bill Yelton, Bruce Bonham, and
Corporal Larry Edwards. The officers were investigating the
area after having received multiple complaints of drug
dealing and prostitution. As the van pulled into the parking
lot, the officers observed a man, later identified as Tashiro
Rudy Tillman, standing in front of a parked Lexus. The man
initially approached the van and looked in as Corporal
Edwards, wearing his full TPD uniform and sitting in the
front passenger seat, began to roll down his window. As
Edwards and Officer Henderson, seated in the rear passenger
side seat, moved to exit the van, the man backed away and
Edwards and Henderson observed him reach into the front
passenger side window of the parked Lexus. The man then
continued skipping backwards down the sidewalk of the
convenience store until he reached the west end of the
building. Edwards and Henderson gave chase. Both Edwards and
Henderson saw the man make a throwing motion with his arm as
he rounded the building and then began sprinting away through
an open field behind the building. Edwards was able to tackle
the man after running approximately 222 feet down a path in
the field. Henderson arrived within a few minutes and helped
Edwards subdue the man and return him to the parking lot.
Henderson searched the man and found $220 in his pants
pocket. Both Edwards and Henderson directed Officer Yelton to
search the area where they saw the man make a throwing
motion. Within a few minutes, Yelton located a small baggie
containing a substance later identified as crack cocaine.
on those events, Petitioner Tashiro Rudy Tillman was
convicted by a jury of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled
Drug (Cocaine), After Former Conviction of Two Felonies
(Count 1), and Obstructing an Officer (Count 2), in Tulsa
County District Court, Case No. CF-2005-3654. On January 17,
2006, the trial judge sentenced Petitioner, in accordance
with the jury's recommendation, to twenty (20) years
imprisonment on Count 1 and three (3) months imprisonment on
Count 2, and ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.
See Dkt. # 14-6 at 3. Petitioner was represented at
trial by attorney Steven Vincent. See Dkt. # 14-4 at
appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA).
Represented by attorney Andreas T. Pitsiri, Petitioner raised
five (5) claims, as follows:
Proposition 1: Admission of other crimes evidence prejudiced
the jury, deprived Mr. Tillman of his fundamental right to a
fair trial and warrants reversal of his convictions.
Proposition 2: Mr. Tillman was prejudiced by ineffective
assistance of counsel.
Proposition 3: The 20-year sentence imposed against Mr.
Tillman in Count 1 is excessive and should be favorably
Proposition 4: The cumulative effect of all these errors
deprived Mr. Tillman of a fair trial.
Proposition 5: The Court should remand Mr. Tillman's case
to the district court of Tulsa County with instructions to
correct the judgment and sentence by an order nunc pro
(Dkt. # 13-1). In an unpublished summary opinion, filed June
29, 2007, in Case No. F-2006-132 (Dkt. # 13-3), the OCCA
affirmed the Judgment and Sentence of the state district
court. Nothing in the record suggests that Petitioner filed a
petition for writ of certiorari at the United States Supreme
25, 2010, Petitioner filed an application for post-conviction
relief (Dkt. # 10-1). The state district judge appointed an
attorney from the public defender's office, Curtis Allen,
to represent Petitioner in his post-conviction proceeding.
See Dkt. # 10-3. On March 7, 2012, Mr. Allen filed a
supplement to the application for post-conviction relief.
Id. The district judge denied the requested relief
on April 10, 2012 (Dkt. # 10-5). Petitioner then appealed to
the OCCA. The OCCA ordered the district court to file a
response to the issues raised on post-conviction appeal. On
November 13, 2012, Tulsa County District Judge James M.
Caputo filed a response brief as ordered by the OCCA (Dkt. #
13-4). By order filed February 14, 2014, in Case No.
PC-2012-412 (Dkt. # 13-6), the OCCA affirmed the district
court's denial of post-conviction relief.
March 31, 2014, Petitioner filed this petition for writ of
habeas corpus (Dkt. # 1). In his petition, Petitioner raises
two (2) claims, as follows:
Ground One: The State of Oklahoma failed to disclose evidence
favorable to the Petitioner in violation of Brady v.
Maryland, [373 U.S. 83 (1963)], under the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
Ground Two: Newly discovered evidence establishes that the
petitioner is entitled to the vacation of his conviction.
Id. Specifically, Petitioner claims that Tulsa
police officers Jeff Henderson, Larry Edwards, Bill Yelton,
and Bruce Bonham “manufactured a story, falsified the
police reports, and intentionally testified falsely against
the petitioner under oath at the preliminary hearing and jury
trial.” Id. at 8-9. Petitioner states that
“he ‘never' was in possession of the cocaine
in question and believes it was planted.” Id.
at 9. Petitioner's claims are based on the fact that, in
2010, Officers Henderson, Yelton, and Bonham were indicted
and later tried on corruption charges in this federal
district court.See N.D. Okla. Case Nos.