Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bozelko v. Arnone

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 28, 2017

CHANDRA BOZELKO Petitioner,
v.
LEO C. ARNONE, DIRECTOR OF ADULT PROBATION, Respondents.

          RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Michael P. Shea United States District Judge

         In this habeas corpus action filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the petitioner, Chandra Bozelko, challenges her 2010 conviction on charges of attempt to commit tampering with a juror, false statement and tampering with physical evidence.

         I. Factual Background

         The habeas court found the following facts.

On the evening of October 4, 2007, while the petitioner's criminal jury trial was underway, several jurors assigned to the case received telephone calls at their residences from a phone number identified on their respective caller identification systems as originating from Kate's Paperie, a business establishment in Greenwich, Connecticut. A male caller asked the jurors questions regarding their status as jurors and instructed the jurors that they should not find the petitioner guilty of the pending charges. The petitioner submitted an affidavit to the court indicating that she received several calls from jurors at her residence on October 8, 2007.
The police conducted an extensive investigation and determined that the calls did not originate from Kate's Paperie or from the jurors' residences. The police determined that the caller identification information for these calls had been “spoofed, ” a process whereby the caller attaches false identity contact information to the communication. The police discovered that a “Spoof Card” was purchased on April 12, 2007, with the computer located in the petitioner's residence and her mother's credit card. A “Spoof Card” allows the user to change caller identification information through the use of a computer service. A “Spoof Card” user also has the ability to change his or her voice to that of a male or female.
The call records showed that 123 calls were made with the card beginning on April 12, 2007, and ending on October 4, 2007. Ninety-four of the calls originated from the petitioner's father's fax machine phone number, nineteen of the calls originated from the petitioner's residence phone number and ten of the calls originated from a Tracfone phone number. The Tracfone, a prepaid cell phone, was activated from the computer in the petitioner's residence. The “Spoof Card” and the Tracfone were used to place the phone calls to the jurors on October 4, 2007. The calls took place over the span of an hour and a half, beginning at 7:22 p.m. and ending at 8:52 p.m. All of the phone calls made using the “Spoof Card” were recorded.
A second “Spoof Card” was purchased on October 8, 2007, with the computer located in the petitioner's residence and a prepaid credit card that was found in the petitioner's bedroom when the search warrant was executed. The second “Spoof Card” and the Tracfone were used to make calls to the petitioner's residence from phone numbers “spoofed” to appear as if the calls originated from the jurors' residences. There were no recordings made of these calls.

Bozelko v. Warden, No. CV 10 4003747, 2013 WL 3801890, at *1-2 (Conn. Super. Ct. June 27, 2013).

         II. Procedural Background

         The petitioner was charged with six counts of attempt to commit tampering with a juror, one count of false statement and one count of tampering with physical evidence. The charges arose in connection with the trial in another criminal case against the petitioner. On March 30, 2010, the petitioner entered a guilty plea, under the Alford[1] doctrine, to three counts of attempt to commit tampering with a juror. She was sentenced to twenty-seven months incarceration on each count, to be served concurrently. The remaining charges were nolled. Bozelko v. Commissioner of Correction, 162 Conn.App. 716, 719-20, 133 A.3d 185, 188 (2016).

         In August 2010, the petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in state court on the ground that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to conduct an adequate investigation prior to entry of her plea. The amended petition alleges that trial counsel “failed to conduct an adequate pretrial investigation, including, but not limited to, an investigation and confirmation of a telephone call involving the Petitioner at the time when the alleged crimes took place” and failed “to develop a theory of defense based on all the facts.” Am. Pet., Resp'ts' Mem. App. B. ECF No. 10-2 at 29. The state court denied the petition, finding that the petitioner failed to demonstrate deficient performance or prejudice. Bozelko v. Warden, No. CV 10 4003747, 2013 WL 3801890 (Conn. Super. Ct. June 27, 2013). The state court also denied the petition for certification to appeal. Resp'ts' Mem. App. B, ECF No. 10-2 at 87-88.

         On appeal, the Connecticut Appellate Court considered the merits of the petitioner's underlying claims and concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying certification to appeal. The Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the appeal, Bozelko, 162 Conn.App. at 729-30, 133 A.3d at 193-94, and, on March 9, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court denied certification to appeal. Bozelko v. Commissioner of Correction, 320 Conn. 926, 133 A.3d 458 (2016). The petitioner commenced this action by petition filed on August 8, 2016.

         III. Standard of Review

          A federal court will entertain a petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging a state court conviction only if the petitioner claims that her custody violates the Constitution or federal laws. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).

         A federal court cannot grant a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by a person in state custody with regard to any claim that was rejected on the merits by the state court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.