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Griffin v. Pearl

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 2, 2014

CAROLYN GRIFFIN, Petitioner,
v.
ANGELA PEARL, Respondent,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

NOELLE C. COLLINS, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Doc. 12). After reviewing the case, the court has determined that Petitioner is not entitled to relief. As a result, the petition will be dismissed.

I.

BACKGROUND

Petitioner was charged with murder in the first degree, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 656.020, in that, on November 29, 2007, after deliberation, she knowingly caused the death of Kemeko Black, by shooting her, and with armed criminal action related to the murder, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.015. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 7-11). Pursuant to a plea agreement, Petitioner was charged, by substitute information in lieu of indictment, with second degree murder, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 656.021, and armed criminal action related to the murder, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.015. Petitioner plead guilty to these charges. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 113-23).

At Petitioner's plea hearing the prosecutor stated that if the matter had gone to trial the State would prove beyond a reasonable doubt as follows: On November 29, 2007, in the City of St. Louis, Petitioner knowingly caused Kemeko Black's death by shooting her in the head, and she used a weapon to commit the murder, thus committing armed criminal action. Specifically, Detective Heather Slater would testify that Petitioner admitted to her that, on November 29, 2007, after an argument, Petitioner went to her bedroom, retrieved a.38 caliber pistol, and walked up behind Ms. Black and shot her twice in the head, causing her death. Medical personnel would testify that Ms. Black's death was, in fact, caused by the shots to the head. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 19).

In response to the court's asking her if she heard what the prosecutor had said and if that was what she was admitting as the basis for her guilty plea, Petitioner answered both questions in the affirmative. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 19).

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the court sentenced Petitioner to concurrent terms of life in prison on each count. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 24-17). Petitioner sought post-conviction relief under Missouri Rule 24.035. Counsel was appointed and filed an amended Rule 24.035 motion. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 37-59). The motion court denied Petitioner post-conviction relief. (Resp. Ex. 1 at 60-64). Petitioner then appealed the motion court's decision to the Missouri appellate court, which affirmed the judgment against her, on January 11, 2011. (Resp. Ex. 2; Resp. Ex. 4).

On May 24, 2011, Petitioner filed her § 2254 Petitioner, in which she makes the following claims:

(1) Petitioner was denied effective assistance of counsel;
(2) The trial court's imposing sentences for both second degree murder and armed criminal action violated the rule against double jeopardy; and
(3) The sentence imposed by the trial court was illegal because it was in excess of the maximum sentence.

(Doc. 1).

...


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