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Pampkin v. Bowersox

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

November 7, 2016

JIMMY PAMPKIN, Petitioner,
v.
MICHAEL BOWERSOX, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Jean C. Hamilton UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Jimmy Pampkin's Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody. (Petition, ECF No. 1.) Respondent has filed a Response (ECF No. 7), and the Petition is ready for disposition.

         BACKGROUND

         On September 6, 2010, two men invaded the home of Harvey Butler, shot him, and stole his cash and his vehicle. Mr. Butler's stepson, Johannsen Rotellini, witnessed the event and provided descriptions of the assailants to law enforcement. Law enforcement subsequently found Mr. Butler's stolen vehicle and apprehended the driver, Marvin Williams. Mr. Williams was transported to the police station where he was questioned by Detective Michael Pratt. Mr. Williams explained to Detective Pratt that he had obtained the vehicle from “Big Moo” (later identified as Marquis Hardin), who had stated that he obtained the vehicle from “JD” and “Vloc.” Based on Mr. Williams's statements, Detective Pratt entered the nicknames “JD and “Vloc” into a crime database and ascertained the identity of “JD” as Petitioner. Detective Pratt then prepared a photographic lineup from which Mr. Rotellini identified Petitioner, as did Mr. Butler. Mr. Rotellini and Mr. Butler also identified Petitioner in a subsequent physical lineup.

         On April 19, 2012, a jury in the Circuit Court of St. Louis City found Petitioner guilty of robbery in the first degree, assault in the first degree, and armed criminal action. The trial court sentenced Petitioner as a persistent felony offender to 40 years in prison. (Resp. Ex. 1.) Petitioner timely appealed, and on October 22, 2013, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed Petitioner's conviction and sentence. State v. Pampkin, 411 S.W.3d 869 (Mo.Ct.App. 2013) (per curiam). On January 3, 2014, Petitioner moved for post-conviction relief pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 29.15. Petitioner was appointed counsel and he thereafter filed an amended Rule 29.15 motion, which was denied. On December 8, 2015, following an evidentiary hearing, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief. The mandate issued on January 4, 2016. Pampkin v. State, 477 S.W.3d 688 (Mo.Ct.App. 2015) (per curiam).

In his Petition, Petitioner raises the following two grounds for relief:
(1) that the trial court erred in allowing Detective Pratt to testify, over defense counsel's objections, as to the statements Mr. Williams made tracing the stolen vehicle to Petitioner;
(2) that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to file a motion to suppress Mr. Butler's and Mr. Rotellini's out-of-court and in-court identifications as the products of suggestive line-up procedures.

(Petition at 5-6.) Petitioner exhausted his claims in the state courts, as he presented them respectively in his direct appeal and in his post-conviction motion. Petitioner is currently incarcerated at the South Central Correctional Center in Licking, Missouri.

         DISCUSSION

         “[A] district court shall entertain an application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). “In the habeas setting, a federal court is bound by the [Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (‘AEDPA')] to exercise only limited and deferential review of underlying state court decisions.” Lomholt v. Iowa, 327 F.3d 748, 751 (8th Cir. 2003) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254). Under the AEDPA, a federal court may not grant relief to a state prisoner unless the state court's adjudication of a claim:

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented ...

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