Ronnie Fekrat v. United States

Court Case Details
Court Case Opinion

FILED

DEC 22 2014

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

RONNIE FEKRAT,

No. 12-56515

Petitioner - Appellant,

D.C. Nos. 2:11-cv-10006-PA

2:08-cr-01028-PA-2

v.

*

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

MEMORANDUM

Respondent - Appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court

for the Central District of California

Percy Anderson, District Judge, Presiding

Argued and Submitted November 19, 2014

Pasadena, California

Before: SCHROEDER, PREGERSON, and NGUYEN, Circuit Judges.

Ronnie Fekrat (“Fekrat”) appeals the district court’s denial of his petition

under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 2253. We review

the district court’s decision de novo, United States v. Aguirre-Ganceda, 592 F.3d

1043, 1045 (9th Cir. 2010), and affirm.

*

This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent

except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3.

Fekrat contends that the government permitted witness Johnson to testify

falsely in violation of Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959). Fekrat’s argument

relies mainly on a purported secret deal between the government and Johnson for a

six-month sentence. However, Fekrat has failed to show that any secret deal

existed. Fekrat’s interpretation of an email authored by a lawyer working for

Fekrat’s prior counsel regarding a plea deal for a six-month sentence is flatly

contradicted by sworn declarations from the attorneys–that is, the prosecutor and

Johnson’s attorney–who allegedly entered into the secret deal. Fekrat’s

interpretation of the email is also illogical. If such a deal existed, Fekrat’s counsel

is likely the last person that Johnson’s attorney would have told about the secret

agreement.

Further, Fekrat’s contention that Johnson lied about the written cooperation

plea agreement is unpersuasive. The defense extensively cross-examined Johnson

about his written plea agreement, during which Johnson admitted that he had a

“plea bargain” with the government. Moreover, the jury heard a stipulation about

the existence of the agreement and the possibility that the government might make

a substantial assistance motion to reduce Johnson’s sentence. Thus, any possible

confusion created by Johnson’s testimony is immaterial. See United States v.

Zuno-Arce, 339 F.3d 886, 889 (9th Cir. 2003) (stating that, in order to establish a

2

Napue error, a defendant must show, among other factors, “that the false testimony

was material.”).

We do not reach Fekrat’s uncertified issues. Cf. 9th Cir. R. 22-1(e).

AFFIRMED.

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