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Smith v. Haynes
United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
June 6, 2018
JOHN GARRETT SMITH, Petitioner,
RONALD HAYNES, Respondent.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this action to United States
Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Petitioner John Garrett
Smith filed his federal habeas Petition on December 6, 2017,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking relief from his
state court convictions and sentence. See Dkt. 1, 3.
The Court concludes Petitioner failed to properly exhaust his
state court remedies as to all grounds raised in the
Petition; however, a state remedy remains available to
Petitioner. Therefore, the Court recommends the Petition be
dismissed without prejudice.
Supreme Court of the State of Washington (“state
supreme court”) summarized the facts of
Petitioner's case as follows:
John Garrett Smith and Sheryl Smith were married in 2011. On
the evening of June 2, 2013, the Smiths engaged in an
argument at their home that turned violent. Mr. Smith punched
and strangled Mrs. Smith to the point of unconsciousness and
then left their home. When Mrs. Smith regained consciousness,
her eyes were black and swollen shut, her face was swollen
and bleeding, and she had difficulty breathing. Mrs. Smith
was hospitalized for several days due to the severity of her
injuries, which included a facial fracture and a concussion.
For months after the assault, she suffered severe head pain,
double vision, nausea, and vertigo.
Mrs. Smith's memory of the attack at the time of trial
was limited; she recalled:
I'm being strangled. Garrett's on top of me. My face
is being punched. I feel like I'm in a very dark place
inside of my head, and three punches, and I'm being
called a fat bitch, and I thought I was going to die.
Other evidence filled in Mrs. Smith's memory gaps,
including her written statement, which was read into the
record. Additionally, there was a recording made of the
incident. During the incident, Mr. Smith used the home's
landline cordless phone to dial his cell phone in an attempt
to locate the cell phone. The cell phone's voice mail
system recorded the incident because Mr. Smith left the
landline open during his attempt to find his cell phone. This
voice mail contained sounds of a woman screaming, a male
claiming the woman brought the assault on herself, more
screams from the female, name calling by the male, and the
MALE: There, are you happy now?
MALE: You brought this shit on. I have never done this. You
and your fucking Mexican. Fuckcocking three-timer. You're
not going to get your (inaudible) three check.
WOMAN: Get away.
MALE: No. way. I will kill you.
WOMAN: I know.
[More female screaming and name calling by the male followed
until the recording ended.]
At trial, the female in the recording was identified as
Sheryl Smith and the male as the defendant, John Garrett
Smith. Mr. Smith fled the scene without his cell phone after
strangling Mrs. Smith to unconsciousness. The cell phone
ended up in the possession of Skylar Williams, Mrs.
Smith's daughter and Mr. Smith's stepdaughter, ...
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