United States District Court, D. Oregon
OPINION AND ORDER
MALCOLM F. MARSH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institution, brings
this habeas corpus proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. Currently before the Court are Petitioner's Amended
Habeas Corpus Petition (ECF No. 19), Motion for Stay (ECF No.
46), and Motion to Add Further Claims (ECF No. 48); and
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 51). For the
reasons set forth below, this Court denies Petitioner's
motions, grants Respondent's motion to dismiss, and
denies Petitioner's amended habeas corpus petition.
2011, a jury convicted Petitioner of three counts of
first-degree sodomy, one count of first-degree sexual
penetration, one count of first-degree sexual abuse, and two
counts of second-degree sexual abuse. Pet'r's Am,
Pet. at 1-2 (Marion County No. 10C46694). The convictions
arose out of allegations that Petitioner sexually assaulted
two fellow inmates. Counts 1-3 relate to inmate
"JR5" and counts 4-7 relate to inmate
"TV." Resp't Notice of Mootness (ECF No. 54),
Att. 2 at 1-2. The trial court imposed a combined sentence of
400 months. Pet'r's Am. Pet. at 2.
Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's
convictions, but reversed and remanded a portion of his
sentence on the basis that the trial court should have merged
Petitioner's convictions on counts 6 and 7 (second-degree
sexual assault) with counts 4 and 5 (first-degree sodomy).
State v. Steltz, 259 Or.App. 212, 221 (2013),
rev. denied, 354 Or. 814 and 355 Or. 751 (2014).
thereafter sought state post-conviction relief (PCR). The PCR
Court granted relief as to counts 4-7 (pertaining to inmate
JV) because trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of
counsel. Pet'r's Am. Pet., Att. A at 3-4. The PCR
court remanded the case to the trial court for further
proceedings. Id. at 4. Petitioner appealed the
denial of post-conviction relief on his remaining claims and
the appeal was dismissed on August 10, 2018. Steltz v.
Amsberry, No. A163838 (docket sheet).
remand, the Marion County Circuit Court dismissed counts 4-7
due to the unavailability of a witness. Resp't Notice of
Mootness, Att. 1. On February 4, 2019, however, a grand jury
returned a new indictment again charging Petitioner with two
counts of sodomy in the first degree and two counts of sexual
abuse in the second degree against inmate JV. Pet'r's
Resp. to Mootness (ECF No. 57) at 1-3; State v.
Steltz, Marion Cry. No. 19CR08554.
instant proceeding, Petitioner alleges that his retrial on
the sodomy and sex abuse charges violates his right to be
free from double jeopardy. Pet'r's Am. Pet. at 3-4.
Respondent moves to dismiss the amended habeas petition on
the basis that Petitioner's retrial does not constitute
double jeopardy. Resp't Mot. to Dismiss at 3-4.
Petitioner's Motion to Stay
Petitioner moves this Court to stay Marion County No.
10C46694. Pet'r's Mot. to Stay at 1. This Court
denies Petitioner's motion as moot because the Marion
County Circuit Court has dismissed the pending charges in No.
if the Court construes Petitioner's motion to be directed
at the new indictment filed in Marion County No. 19CR08554,
the motion is denied because, as set forth below, Petitioner
has failed to demonstrate that his retrial violates the
Double Jeopardy Clause and this Court therefore declines to
interfere with an ongoing state criminal proceeding. Cf
Readylink Healthcare, Inc. v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 754
F.3d 754, 758 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding that a federal court
should abstain from entering an order if it has the practical
effect of enjoining an ongoing state criminal proceeding that
implicates important state interests and the movant has an
adequate opportunity to raise his constitutional claims in
Petitioner's Motion to Add Further Claims
has filed a motion captioned "Motion to Add Further
Claims of Double Jeopardy, Torture & Deleted Transcripts,
Property Withheld by U.S. Attorneys at Least to Preserve for
9th Circuit Court's & U.S. Court's Supreme,
Pursuant to 5th-l4th U.S. Constitution Due Process, Equal
Protection of Laws" (ECF No. 48). Although it is
difficult to decipher, it appears Petitioner seeks to add
claims based on allegations that (1) his court-appointed
habeas counsel denied him due process and equal protection of
the laws; (2) state judges Claudia Burton and Thomas Hart
altered computer records and video recordings to hide the
fact that "two punishments" were imposed on counts
4-7 due to "merger errors;" (3) Marion County jail
staff assaulted him; ...