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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Gregory Edward Wright stabbed Donna Vick to death in her home in DeSoto in the early hours of March 21, 1997. Wright, who had been staying with Vick in her home, was seen with her at a VFW lodge on the night before the murder. Around 4 a.m. the next morning, Wright and his friend John Adams drove Vick’s car to purchase crack cocaine from a drug dealer who was staying at Llewelyn Mosley’s home. Mosley testified that Adams and Wright arrived at his house on the night of the murder and told him that they had some things from a woman in DeSoto that they wanted to get rid of, including a television, a weed eater, a rifle, a color printer and a microwave. Several of these items were later identified as belonging to Vick. The next day, Adams asked Daniel McGaughey, an employee at a video store, to call the police because he wanted to turn himself in. Adams directed the police to Vick’s house and assisted in recovering her car. DNA testing revealed that blood found on the steering wheel belonged to Wright. At the house, the police found Vick’s body on her bed and Wright’s bloody fingerprint on her pillowcase. Adams also led the police to a shack that Wright sometimes stayed in, where they arrested Wright and seized a bloody and gold-paint splattered pair of blue jeans. Outside the shack, the police found a bloody knife. DNA evidence established that the blood on the knife and jeans was Vick’s. Adams also led the police to a knife in a vacant lot near Mosley’s home. DNA testing revealed that the knife had Vick’s blood on it. A medical examiner testified that Vick could have been stabbed by more than one knife. At trial, the prosecution argued that both Adams and Wright attacked Vick. In addition, Detective Dan Trippel testified. Trippel described a conversation he had with Adams, who did not testify. Trippel testified that he discovered Vick’s body after meeting with Adams. Trippel also testified that Adams claimed that he owned one of the knives used in the murder, but Wright used Adams’ knife to stab Vick. Wright’s counsel made a hearsay objection, but not a confrontation clause objection. The court instructed the jury that it could convict Wright only in the event that it found that he actually attacked Vick. The court did not instruct the jury on a law of the parties theory of liability. The jury found Wright guilty, and he was sentenced to death. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Wright’s conviction. He petitioned the state court for a writ of habeas corpus. The state trial judge adopted the state’s proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in their entirety and recommended that relief be denied. The CCA adopted the trial court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law and denied relief. Wright petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for a federal writ of habeas corpus. A magistrate judge recommended denying relief on all of Wright’s claims. The district court judge adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation and denied the petition. Wright moved for a certificate of appealability to appeal the district court’s denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He argued that reasonable jurists would debate whether: 1. his Confrontation Clause claim is procedurally barred; 2. he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial; and 3. the state suppressed evidence in violation of the 14th Amendment and Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). HOLDING:Denied. Wright must make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right to obtain a certificate of appealability, the court stated, which requires him to demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district court’s assessment of the constitutional claims to be debatable or wrong. The court found Wright failed to preserve his claim of error regarding the court’s admission of Trippel’s testimony that allegedly violated the confrontation clause. Wright made a hearsay objection regarding the testimony at issue, but Texas law requires a defendant to make a specific confrontation clause objection to preserve such an error, the court stated. Moreover, the court found it was not debatable amongst jurists of reason that the Texas court’s application of the contemporaneous objection rule constituted an adequate and independent procedural bar to Wright’s confrontation clause claim. Addressing Wright’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim, the court found that the state court could have reasonably concluded that Wright could not demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s failure to object to the admission of evidence allegedly violating the confrontation clause. Addressing Wright’s claim that the state suppressed exculpatory evidence, the 5th Circuit noted that the district court held that Wright had failed to establish that the state suppressed evidence of an agreement not to prosecute Mosley, that Adams confessed to Jerry Causey, that the police found letters addressed to Adams in the shack or the tape of the 911 call by Daniel McGaughey reporting Adams’ desire to turn himself in. Because Wright did not dispute the district court’s findings or conclusions of law on the suppression issue, the court held that he failed to establish that the district court’s resolution of those claims was reasonably debatable. OPINION:Garza, J.; Smith, Garza and Prado, J.J.

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