United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Petition of Charles
Chambers for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. The Petition is fully briefed and ready for
Charles Chambers is currently incarcerated at the Jefferson
City Correctional Center ("JCCC") pursuant to the
judgment and sentence of the Circuit Court of the City of St.
Louis, Missouri. (Resp't's Ex. 1 pp. 101-03) A jury
found Petitioner guilty of one count of robbery in the first
degree and one count of armed criminal action. The court
sentenced him to 20 years' incarceration for robbery and
10 years' incarceration for armed criminal action, said
sentences to run consecutively. (Id.) Petitioner
appealed the judgment, and on November 30, 2010, the Missouri
Court of Appeals modified the judgment in part and affirmed
as modified. (Resp't's Ex. 9) Petitioner then filed a
Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Judgment or Sentence
pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 29.15.
(Resp't's Ex. 10 pp. 2-7) Appointed counsel filed an
amended Rule 29.15 motion on March 8, 2012. (Id. at
pp. 64-77) On March 16, 2012, the motion court denied
Petitioner's motion for post-conviction relief.
(Id. at pp. 78-83) On December 11, 2012, the
Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the motion
court. (Resp't's Ex. 13) On October 28, 2013,
Petitioner filed the present petition for habeas relief in
December 17, 2006 at approximately 1:20 a.m., Tim Pappas, the
owner of the Chrome Bar in St. Louis City, along with four
female employees, were cleaning and closing when two men with
covered faces entered the bar and robbed Mr. Pappas at
gunpoint. The men ordered Mr. Pappas and the three employees
to lay face-down on the floor. One of the men removed Mr.
Pappas' wallet from a pants pocket and ordered Mr. Pappas
to remove the bundle of cash from another pocket. The bundle
of cash contained approximately $500 plus some papers with
written personal information, including federal and state tax
ID numbers for the bar. Another employee, Kathy Mathes, was
in the bathroom when the men entered the bar. She noticed the
men, ran out the back door, and alerted the police.
Meanwhile, the two men led Mr. Pappas and the three employees
into a storage room, which the men barricaded with a table.
Before leaving, the men also took Ms. Mathes' purse and a
petty cash box.
canine officer came to the scene where the two men had been
spotted running. The dog tracked and located Petitioner
Chambers hiding beneath a recycling bin approximately nine or
ten blocks from the Chrome Bar. An officer returned
Petitioner to the bar, but none of the victims could
positively identify Petitioner. However, two of the victims
indicated that they recognized Petitioner's facial hair.
An officer searched Petitioner and found Mr. Pappas'
bundle of money. One of the bills contained bloodstains that
matched Mr. Pappas' DNA. The police recovered Mr.
Pappas' wallet, Ms. Mathes' purse, the cash box, two
guns, gloves, a hat, and a sweatshirt in a backyard
approximately six blocks from the Chrome Bar.
the jury trial, Mr. Pappas and the three other victims held
at gunpoint testified for the State, along with police
officers, forensic scientists, and firearms examiners.
Petitioner offered testimony from a friend, who testified
that Petitioner was staying at her home the night of the
robbery. Petitioner also testified on his own behalf, stating
that he left his friend's house around 1:00 or 1:30 a.m.
to go for a walk. During his walk, a man ran past him on the
sidewalk. Petitioner then saw a bundle of money wrapped with
a rubber band, and he picked it up. Petitioner was arrested
shortly thereafter. He told the officers that the money came
from SSI checks and working odd jobs. The jury found
Petitioner guilty of first-degree robbery and armed criminal
action, and the trial court sentenced him as a prior and
Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus, Petitioner raises eleven claims for federal habeas
relief. Grounds 1, 9, and 10 are related and challenge the
State's cross-examination of Petitioner using his
post-Miranda silence to impeach him. He raises
claims of trial court error (Ground 1), ineffective
assistance of trial counsel (Ground 9), and post-conviction
motion court error (Ground 10). In Ground 2, Petitioner
contends that the trial court erred in submitting Instruction
9 pertaining to Petitioner's prior offenses. Petitioner
asserts in Ground 3 that the trial court erred in overruling
defense counsel's objection to the State's closing
argument asking the jurors to put themselves in the
victims' position. Ground 4 alleges trial court error in
entering a written judgment and sentence that differed from
the oral sentence. In Ground 5, Petitioner contends that he
was denied effective assistance of trial counsel for several
reasons. Petitioner alleges in Ground 6 that he was denied
effective assistance of appellate counsel. In Ground 7,
Petitioner asserts that the prosecuting attorney withheld
exonerating evidence. Ground 8 alleges that Petitioner was
denied his right to a fair and impartial jury trial. Finally,
Petitioner contends in Ground 11 that he was generally denied
an adequate appeal and post-conviction proceeding and that he
the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA),
federal courts review state court decisions under a
deferential standard. Owens v. Dormire, 198 F.3d
679, 681 (8th Cir. 1999). "[A] district court shall
entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus . . .
only on the ground that [the petitioner] is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Further, a
federal court may not grant habeas relief unless the claim
adjudicated on the merits in state court '"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.'" Owens, 198 F.3d at 681 (quoting
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)). Findings of fact made by a
state court are presumed to be correct, and the petitioner
has the burden of rebutting this presumption by clear and
convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). See
also Gee v. Groose, 110 F.3d 1346, 1351 (8th Cir. 1997)
(state court factual findings presumed to be correct where
fairly supported by the record).
the 'contrary to' clause, a federal habeas court may
grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion
opposite to that reached by [the Supreme] Court on a question
of law or if the state court decides a case differently than
[the Supreme] Court has on a set of materially
indistinguishable facts." Williams v. Taylor,
529 U.S. 362, 412-413 (2000). With regard to the
"unreasonable application" clause, "a federal
habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies
the correct governing legal principle from [the Supreme]
Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle
to the facts of the prisoner's case." Id.
at 413; see also Bucklew v. Luebbers 436 F.3d 1010,
1016 (8th Cir. 2006); Rousan v. Roper, 436 F.3d 951,
956 (8th Cir. 2006). In other words, "a federal habeas
court may not issue the writ simply because that court
concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant
state-court decision applied clearly established federal law
erroneously or incorrectly. Rather that application must also
be unreasonable." Williams, 529 U.S. at 411.
preserve a claim for federal habeas review, a petitioner must
present the claim to the state court and allow that court the
opportunity to address petitioner's claim. Moore-El
v. Luebbers, 446 F.3d 890, 896 (8th Cir. 2006) (citation
omitted). "Where a petitioner fails to follow applicable
state procedural rules, any claims not properly raised before
the state court are procedurally defaulted."
Id. A federal court will consider a defaulted habeas
claim "only where the petitioner can establish either
cause for the default and actual prejudice, or that the
default will result in a fundamental miscarriage of
Use of yost-Miranda silence to impeach Petitioner
alleges in Grounds 1, 9, and 10 that the trial court erred,
trial counsel was ineffective, and the post-conviction motion
court erred regarding the State's cross-examination of
Petitioner. Specifically, Petitioner contends that the trial
court should have granted a mistrial or sustained
counsel's objection when the State used Petitioner's
post-arrest silence pertaining to why he did not tell the
police that he found Mr. Pappas' wallet in order to
impeach Petitioner. Likewise, Petitioner argues that trial
counsel was ineffective for failing to introduce evidence
that Petitioner had invoked his right to remain silent. In
addition, Petitioner asserts that the motion court erred in
denying Petitioner's ineffective assistance of trial
counsel claim. Respondent argues that these claims fail on
direct appeal, Petitioner alleged:
the trial court erred in overruling his request for a
mistrial when the prosecutor asked [Petitioner] during
cross-examination why he did not inform the police that he
found Mr. Pappas's money on the sidewalk. Defendant
contends that the prosecutor's inquiry improperly
elicited evidence of [Petitioner's] post-arrest silence
for the purpose of impeaching [Petitioner's] testimony
and permitted the jury to draw an improper adverse inference
from [Petitioner's] post-arrest silence.
Chambers, 330 S.W.3d at 542. The Missouri Court of
Appeals noted, "[t]he State may not use an accused's
silence, at the time of arrest and after receiving
Miranda warnings, for impeachment purposes."
Id. (citing Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610,
618 (1976)). However, in the absence of the affirmative
assurances expressed in the Miranda warnings,
"a State does not violate due process of law by
cross-examining a defendant as to his postarrest silence when
that defendant chooses to take the stand." Id.
at 542-43. (citation omitted). The Chambers court
noted that Missouri law allows the State to use a criminal
defendant's immediate post-arrest, pre- Miranda
warning silence for impeachment purposes '"when a
neutral expectancy of an exculpatory statement exists as a
result of a defendant's testimony and defendant's
silence is probative of inconsistencies in that
testimony.'" Id. at 543 (quoting State
v. Antwine, 743 S.W.2d51, 69(Mo. 1987)).
Chambers court then noted that Petitioner chose to
take the stand and testify in his own defense. When
questioned by the State on cross-examination regarding
whether he told the police anything about finding money,
Petitioner stated that he did not mention anything about
finding the money. Id. at 543-44. Defense counsel
objected and moved for a mistrial, arguing that the
prosecutor was commenting on Defendant's post-arrest
silence in violation of his constitutional rights.
Id. However, the ...