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Walker v. Russell

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

March 28, 2017

JIMMIE WALKER, Petitioner,
v.
TERRY RUSSELL, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. #1] on February 7, 2014. On March 6, 2014, Petitioner filed an AMENDED/REDACTED PETITION [Doc. #5]. On April 24, 2014, this court granted Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time to file Response/Reply. On May 23, 2014 Defendant filed a Response To Order To Show Cause Why a Writ of Habeas Corpus Should Not be Granted [Doc. #11]. The matter is now fully briefed. For the reasons set forth below, the Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 For Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody is denied.

         Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, this Court has determined that there are no issues asserted that give rise to an evidentiary hearing and therefore one is not warranted.

         Procedural Background

         Petitioner was charged in the Circuit Court of Franklin County, Missouri with one count of Forcible Rape and one count of Statutory Rape. A jury found him guilty of both offenses. Petitioner took a timely appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions on direct appeal.

         Thereafter, Petitioner timely filed a pro se post-conviction motion. No amended motion was filed however a statement in lieu of the amended motion was filed. The Circuit Court of Franklin County denied the motion for post-conviction relief. A timely appeal was taken on the denial of the motion to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the post-conviction motion.

         Petitioner raised seven grounds for relief in his Missouri Rule 29.15 motion for post-conviction relief: 1) trial counsel was ineffective for not following up on information provided by Walker as to potential witnesses; 2) trial counsel should have called L.M.A. as an alibi witness; 3) trial counsel should have had a psychologist conduct an examination of C.A.; 4) trial counsel should have objected to the prosecutor allowing the jury to believe that Connilee Boehne was an expert witness; 5) the trial court erred in overruling an objection to Davis Stansfield's proposed expert testimony; 6) trial counsel should have asked about pre-trial publicity during voir dire; 7) trial counsel should have introduced the SAFE Exam and C.A.'s deposition into evidence. Petitioner only raised one claim on appeal of the adverse post-conviction ruling - that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to call L.M.A. as an alibi witness.

         Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“AEDPA”) applies to all petitions for habeas relief filed by state prisoners after the statute's effective date of April 24, 1996. When reviewing a claim that has been decided on the merits by a state court, AEDPA limits the scope of judicial review in a habeas proceeding as follows:

An application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings unless the adjudication of the 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 in the state court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         In construing AEDPA, the United States Supreme Court, in Wi ...


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