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Rodriguez v. Adams PHC

Rodriguez v. Adams PHC

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Published by: Northern District of California Blog on Jun 20, 2011
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06/27/2011

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIASALVADOR A. RODRIGUEZ,Petitioner,No. C 04-2233 PJHv.
ORDER GRANTING PETITIONFOR WRIT OF HABEASCORPUS
DERRAL ADAMS, Warden,Respondent. _______________________________/ Before the court is the petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254, filed by state prisoner, Salvador Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”). Having reviewed theparties’ papers, and having carefully considered their arguments, the record, and therelevant legal authorities, the court hereby GRANTS the petition.
BACKGROUND
On July 8, 1998, Rodriguez was charged with murder under California Penal Code §187, along with enhancements that during the commission of the murder, he intentionallydischarged a firearm and proximately caused death under California Penal Code §12022.53(d); that he used a firearm under California Penal Code §§ 1203.06 and 12022.5;and that he inflicted great bodily injury under California Penal Code § 1203.075.On
 
January 20, 2000,
 
an Alameda County Superior Court jury convicted Rodriguezof second degree murder with the use of a firearm to proximately cause death, but foundthe allegation of infliction of great bodily injury to be untrue.
 
The trial court sentencedRodriguez to state prison for a term of 40 years to life.
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Witnesses gave varying numbers, and it was never established exactly how manypeople comprised the Walker group.2Rodriguez unsuccessfully appealed his conviction to the California Court of Appeal,and the California Supreme Court denied review on February 13, 2002.Rodriguez subsequently filed a state habeas petition with the Alameda CountySuperior Court, which the court denied. He then filed a habeas petition with the CaliforniaCourt of Appeal, and that court issued a postcard denial. On February 4, 2004, theCalifornia Supreme Court also summarily denied Rodriguez’s petition for state habeasrelief.Rodriguez then filed a petition for federal habeas relief with this court onJune 7, 2004.
A.Factual Background
On the evening of March 3, 1998, in Oakland, California, Rodriguez shot and killedFrederick Walker (“Walker”). Prior to the shooting, a group of neighborhood youthsincluding Roy Ramsey, Vonree Alberty, Kenneth Jackson, Thurston Breshell, MarcusHawkins, and Albert Bagwell (referred to collectively as the “Melrose group”) were hangingout in and around a car (the “Jackson-Alberty car”) on the 4700 block of Melrose Avenue,also the block on which Rodriguez lived, near Hawkins’ house. Shortly before 6:00 p.m., astation wagon with approximately nine or ten African-American teenagers
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(the “Walkergroup” or “Walker car”) drove down Melrose Avenue, from 47th to 48th Avenues and madea u-turn on 48th Avenue. The teenagers in the Walker group were not from theneighborhood. Among others, the Walker group included the driver, Damon Brown;Brown’s cousin, Ferrari Johnson; the victim, Frederick Walker; and the victim’s brother,David Walker.The Walker station wagon first parked near a stop sign on 48th Avenue. Theoccupants of the Walker car then exited the vehicle and approached the Melrose group.After the Walker group converged on the Melrose group, the groups then split. Ramsey, a
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Ramsey testified at a preliminary hearing that he was robbed, but the prosecutionargued at trial that there was no admissible evidence that a robbery occurred, based largelyon the fact that the defense did not call Ramsey to testify at trial.3member of the Melrose group, walked down the street and was subsequently surroundedby members of the Walker group. Breshell, Alberty, and Jackson, other members of theMelrose group, remained in or around the Jackson-Alberty car and were also approachedby members of the Walker group.The timing of the subsequent events is a bit unclear. Members of the Walker group“relieved” Ramsey of three dime bags of marijuana.
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Around the same time, a member ofthe Walker group went back to their station wagon, and pulled it alongside, apparentlydouble-parking next to the Jackson-Alberty car. Two members of the Walker group thenbegan hassling Breshell.After the Walker group took the marijuana from Ramsey, Ramsey walked across thestreet to Rodriguez’s house, and went up to Rodriguez, who had exited his house afterhearing loud noises. Ramsey told Rodriguez that he had just been robbed by the Walkergroup. At this point, Rodriguez observed a tussle between Breshell and members of theWalker group. Ramsey subsequently gave Rodriguez a gun, and Rodriguez then shot upin the air several times in an attempt to scare away the Walker group. One of these shotshit the victim, Walker, in the head and killed him.
B.Trial
 
Proceedings1.Prosecution Key Witnessesa.Jewel Marshall
The prosecution called Jewel Marshall, a neighbor of Rodriguez’s who lived onMelrose Avenue. Marshall testified that he was at home on the evening of the shooting,and that after hearing loud voices outside, he looked out of his front window to see whatwas going on. Marshall testified that he observed at least two African-American teenagersstanding near a station wagon parked in front of his driveway in the street, and that he sawanother group of teenagers standing by the stairs to his neighbor Marcus Hawkins’ house,
Case4:04-cv-02233-PJH Document70 Filed06/01/11 Page3 of 40

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