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Dallas v. Arave

filed: January 20, 1993.

CLAUDE L. DALLAS, JR., PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
ARVON ARAVE, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. D.C. No. CV-88-1151-MJC. Marion J. Callister, District Judge, Presiding.

Before: Eugene A. Wright, Procter Hug, Jr., and Cecil F. Poole, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Hug.

Author: Hug

HUG, Circuit Judge:

Claude Dallas, who was convicted of killing two Idaho game wardens, appeals the district court's denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. His claims, challenging his conviction and sentence, are based upon the faulty premises that each of the jury's verdicts must be consistent with the other verdicts, and that the sentence must be based upon the jury's factual findings. We affirm the order of the district court.

I.

The essential facts have been recited by the Idaho Supreme Court in State v. Dallas, 109 Idaho 670, 710 P.2d 580 (Idaho 1985). In short, Claude Dallas lived in a campsite in Owyhee County, Idaho, and subsisted by trapping, in and out of season. William H. Pogue and Wilson Conley Elms, Idaho Fish and Game Department officers, confronted him on January 5, 1981, while Dallas and his friend, Jim Stevens, were carrying supplies to the campsite. The officers followed Dallas to his camp and took from him a pistol that he was wearing. They accused Dallas of taking game out of season.

According to Stevens's trial testimony, Dallas quickly drew a .357 pistol that was strapped to his leg, shot Pogue twice, shot Elms twice, and then shot Pogue twice more. He then dashed to his tent, retrieved a rifle, and shot both Pogue and Elms in the backs of their heads. Stevens helped Dallas remove the bodies; Elms's body was dumped into a nearby river, and Pogue's body was taken to Nevada where Dallas buried it.

Dallas was eventually caught by the FBI and tried in Idaho state court. He was charged with two counts of first degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, resisting officers in the lawful performance of their duties, and destruction or concealment of evidence.

At trial, the jury was instructed on two theories of first degree murder, and on the lesser included offenses of second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. The first degree murder theories were (1) the willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of a human being, with malice aforethought, as described in Idaho Code § 18-4003(a); and (2) the willful, deliberate murder, with malice aforethought, of a peace officer who was acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty, and was known or should have been known by the defendant to be an officer so acting, as described in Idaho Code § 18-4003(b).

The second degree murder instruction concerned "the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought when there is manifested an intention unlawfully to kill a human being but the evidence is insufficient to establish deliberation and premeditation," pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-4003(g).

Dallas was convicted on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, which is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being, without malice, upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. Idaho Code § 18-4006(1). The jury was instructed that:

To reduce an intentional homicide from the offense of murder to manslaughter upon the ground of sudden quarrel or heat of passion, the provocation must be of such character and degree as naturally would excite and arouse such passion, and the defendant must have acted under the smart of that sudden quarrel or heat of passion. . . . If sufficient time elapsed between the provocation and the fatal blow for passion to subside and reason to return . . . the mere fact of slight or remote provocation will not reduce the offense to manslaughter.

In addition to the voluntary manslaughter counts, he was convicted on the firearms counts, but acquitted on the resisting peace officers charges.

The court sentenced him to an indeterminate 10-year term on each of the manslaughter counts, to run consecutively. It enhanced the sentence by another 10-year consecutive term for the use of a firearm and also sentenced him to ...


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