United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
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.
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
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).
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 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).
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.
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.
Standard of Review
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).
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