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Archuleta v. Myrick

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 13, 2017

PAUL A. ARCHULETA, Petitioner,
v.
JOHN MYRICK, Respondent.

          ANTHONY D. BORNSTEIN Assistant Federal Public Defender Attorney for Petitioner.

          ELLEN F. ROSENBLUM Attorney General NICK M. KALLSTROM Assistant Attorney General Department of Justice Attorneys for Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          John V. Acosta United States Magistrate Judge.

         Petitioner, an inmate at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution, brings this habeas corpus action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (ECF No. 2).

         BACKGROUND

         I. Factual Background

         In the summer of 2010, Petitioner began discussing a plan to produce methamphetamine with two co-conspirators, James Tilton and Nicholas Thomas. According the plan described by Thomas at trial, he was to cook the meth, Tilton was to sell the meth, and Petitioner was to act as security for the operation.

         The three came up with a plan to "do something really bad" for the purpose of binding their commitment. The plan was to take someone into the woods and kill them, and for all three to take part in the killing. Specifically, all three were to stab the victim, and then Tilton would slit the victim's throat at the end. The chosen victim was Tilton's then-girlfriend.

         On July 6, 2010, the three told the victim they were taking her with them on a trip to Mexico and started driving into the coast range. At a secluded spot along the highway, they pulled over and all four got out and walked into the woods. Tilton ordered the victim to take off all of her clothes, which she did. Then, as planned, Tilton held the victim from behind while Thomas and Petitioner each stabbed her three to four times in the abdomen and chest. Tilton then took the knife and slashed the victim's throat several times, then twisted her neck in an effort to break it.

         The victim played dead, and Tilton and Thomas threw her down a slope toward a creek. She then got up and ran. Thomas and the Petitioner ran after her and saw her lying on the ground next to a tree. Only Petitioner went over to her, and when he returned he told Thomas and Tilton that he had hit her with a stick, that she didn't move, and that he thought she was dead. The three left her for dead and went back to town.

         The victim got up and walked along a creek. Her left lung was punctured, so she often had to stop and lie down. She was using her left hand to put pressure on her neck, and her right hand to cover her other wounds, including one in her abdomen through which her intestines were hanging out. Eventually, she crawled under a fence and came to a barn. The barn owner was working in her yard when she spotted the victim, who was not wearing any clothes, was covered in blood, and appeared very weak. The barn owner called police, and the victim was able to tell the 911 operator the names of the people who had attacked her. The victim was transported to Emanuel Hospital, where she recovered. Police apprehended the three men later that night.

         II. Procedural Background

         On July 15, 2010, a Clatsop County grand jury indicted Petitioner on five counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder and one count each of Assault in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Kidnapping in the First Degree. Resp. Exh. 102. The case was tried to a jury. The trial judge dismissed three counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder and the charge of Robbery in the First Degree. Resp. Exh, 116, p. 1. The jury acquitted Petitioner on one of the remaining counts o f Attempted Aggravated Murder and the Kidnapping in the First Degree charge. Id. The jury found Petitioner guilty of Attempted Murder (as a lesser-included offense of the remaining Attempted Aggravated Murder charge) and Assault in the First Degree. Id.

         The trial judge sentenced Petitioner to 90 months of imprisonment on each conviction, to be served consecutively, and to be followed by three year of post-prison supervision, Resp. Exh. 116, p. 15. The court also imposed a total money award of $120, 771.56, including $20, ...


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