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Fiel v. Smith

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 16, 2014

CONRADO B. FIEL, Petitioner,
v.
GREGORY SMITH, et al., Respondents.

ORDER

ROBERT C. JONES, District Judge.

Before the court for a decision on the merits is an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Conrado B. Fiel, a Nevada prisoner. ECF No. 7.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In August of 2004, petitioner Fiel was convicted, pursuant to a jury verdict, of first degree murder with use of a deadly weapon in the Second Judicial District Court for Nevada. He was sentenced to a life term in prison with the possibility of parole after ten years, plus an equal and consecutive term for the deadly weapon enhancement. The Nevada Supreme Court recounted the evidence and argument presented at trial as follows:

The evidence shows that Fiel disliked the victim Jesse Lake, and on July 11, 1989, he confronted Lake, accusing him of shooting at Fiel's wife's car several days earlier. Fiel was extremely angry, and after arguing with Lake for several minutes, Fiel walked to his apartment nearby. Minutes later, Fiel, armed with a handgun, returned and engaged Lake in yet another argument. Fiel then shot an unarmed Lake four times and fled Reno. Fiel was ultimately located in the Phillipines in 2000 and extradited back to the United States for trial. Fiel conceded that he shot Lake, but argued that Lake was a gun-toting drug dealer. Fiel argued that he feared for his family's safety because Lake had fired several shots at his wife's car. Fiel asserted that he was not guilty because the State had failed to prove the killing was unlawful.

ECF No. 22-13, p. 3-4.[1]

Fiel appealed his judgment of conviction to the Nevada Supreme Court. On November 25, 2005, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an order affirming the conviction.

On November 7, 2006, Fiel filed a post-conviction petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state district court. With the assistance of court appointed counsel, Fiel filed a supplemental petition on December 18, 2007. The court held an evidentiary hearing on the petition on August 19, 2009. On September 29, 2009, the state district court denied relief, and entered its findings of fact, conclusions of law, and judgment. Fiel appealed. The Nevada Supreme Court issued its order of affirmance on April 6, 2011.

Fiel initiated this federal habeas proceeding on April 15, 2011.

II. STANDARDS OF REVIEW

This action is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) sets forth the standard of review under AEDPA:

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) sets forth the standard of review under AEDPA:

An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim -
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence ...

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