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Drinkard v. Secretary, Department of Corrections

United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division

April 29, 2019

LOGAN DRINKARD, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Michael J. Frank United States Magistrate Judge

         Logan Drinkard, represented by counsel, has filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 5). Respondent (“the State”) answered, providing relevant portions of the state court record. (Doc. 13). Drinkard replied. (Doc. 23). The undersigned concludes that no evidentiary hearing is required for the disposition of this matter, and that Drinkard is not entitled to habeas relief.[1]

         I. Background and Procedural History

         On November 26, 2011, Drinkard killed Germaine Bindi when the Ford Mustang he was driving struck Victor and Germaine Bindi's vehicle on Highway 98. Drinkard was charged in Santa Rosa County Circuit Court No. 2011-CF-1806, with the following crimes:

Count 1 Vehicular homicide of Germaine Bindi by operation of a motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another in violation of Section 782.071(1)(a), Florida Statutes;
Count 2 Manslaughter of Germaine Bindi by act or culpable negligence by driving at a high rate of speed and/or racing another vehicle and/or weaving in and out of traffic and/or driving recklessly, in violation of Section 782.07, Florida Statutes; and
Count 3 Racing on a highway, in violation of Section 316.191(2)(a), Florida Statutes.

(Doc. 13, Ex. C).[2] The State explained its charging decision at a pre-trial hearing on Drinkard's motion for a statement of particulars:

MS. KINSEY [Prosecutor]: And if it helps, Mr. Wade [defense counsel], as an officer of the court, I can tell you that the facts of the reckless driving for Count 1 and Count 2 are the same set of facts, which is what I think you were trying to determine.
MR. WADE [Defense counsel]: So it's the State's representation then that the factual basis of both would be the same?
MS. KINSEY: Yes. It's based on the same set of facts - MR. WADE: Okay.
MS. KINSEY: - which I think will clear a lot up for you. And I have no problem with that, announcing that. And ultimately, if he is convicted of both counts, vehicular homicide and manslaughter, we would only be able to proceed to sentencing on one of the two cases.
THE COURT: Yeah. That's correct. It's one death, right?
MS. KINSEY: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Right. He can't be convicted of both.
MS. KINSEY: Right.
MR. WADE: I agree with that[.]

(Ex. D, p. 4). Drinkard elected to be tried, and the jury rendered the following verdict:

Count 1 Guilty of Reckless Driving; a lesser included offense;
Count 2 Guilty of Manslaughter as charged in the information;
Count 3 Not guilty of Racing on a Highway.

(Ex. K, p. 958 (reading of verdict); Ex. L (written verdict)).

         Drinkard filed a motion for arrest of judgment, arguing that constitutional double jeopardy principles prohibited him from being convicted and sentenced on the manslaughter count (Count 2) because the jury found him not guilty of vehicular homicide on Count 1, and vehicular homicide is a lesser included offense of manslaughter. (Ex. M). Drinkard argued in the alternative that the jury's finding of guilt with respect to manslaughter was legally inconsistent with its finding him not guilty of vehicular homicide. (Ex. M). The trial court heard ...


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