United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
BETH DEERE, Magistrate Judge.
I. Procedure for Filing Objections
The following Recommended Disposition ("Recommendation") has been sent to United States District Court Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. Mr. Singleton - or any party - may file written objections to this Recommendation.
Objections must be specific and must include the factual or legal basis for the objection. An objection to a factual finding must identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that supports that belief.
An original and one copy of objections must be received in the office of the United States District Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. A copy will be furnished to the opposing party.
If no objections are filed, Judge Marshall can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact. Mail your objections to:
On July 15, 2009, a Little Rock Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics ("SWAT") team executed a warrant at 4305 Maryland Street, Little Rock, Arkansas. The SWAT team entered the house and detonated a "flash bang" stun grenade. The officers found Petitioner Felton Singleton lying on the bathroom floor of the residence. Mr. Singleton had several bags of marijuana underneath him, and there were several other bags of drugs in the toilet. Two other individuals fled the residence, but were apprehended.
When questioned by the arresting officer, Mr. Singleton listed his address as 4305 Maryland Street. He also listed his address as 4305 Maryland on his bond papers. Mr. Singleton's wife, however, testified that Mr. Singleton did not live at 4305 Maryland. She stated that Mr. Singleton merely spent time there because his son, Felton Duncan, allowed Mr. Singleton to use drugs there for free. (Docket entry #8, Ex. 2, pp. 282-288) Mr. Singleton also testified that he did not live at 4305 Maryland, but that he frequented the residence to use drugs. He also said that he used 4305 Maryland as his address on bond paperwork so his bondsman could not find him. (#8, Ex. 2, pp. 288-300) Some papers in the house indicated that Felton Duncan, Mr. Singleton's son, lived at 4305 Maryland.
On May 20, 2010, a jury in Pulaski County Circuit Court found Mr. Singleton guilty of several drug crimes related to his arrest at 4305 Maryland. (Docket entry #8-2) As a result of the conviction, Mr. Singleton received a 40-year sentence of imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of Correction. (#8-2, p. 5) Mr. Singleton appealed, but the Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence. Singleton v. State, 2011 Ark.App. 145, 381 S.W.3d 874.
On April 14, 2011, Mr. Singleton filed a timely petition for postconviction relief in the trial court under Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 37. (#8-6) The trial court denied Mr. Singleton's Rule 37 petition without a hearing. (#1, p. 2; #8-7) He appealed, but the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's denial of the Rule 37 petition. Singleton v. State, 2013 Ark. 348 (2011)(per curiam).
On May 19, 2014, Mr. Singleton filed the pending petition for writ of habeas corpus. (#1) In the petition, he alleges several constitutional deficiencies at his trial, but primarily, he claims ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Respondent, ADC Director Ray Hobbs, contends that the claims in the petition are meritless. (#8) For the reasons explained below, the Court will recommend that Judge Marshall DISMISS Mr. Singleton's petition, with prejudice.
A. Standard of ...