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Ford v. Prudden

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

March 28, 2017

HUBERT FORD, Petitioner,
v.
DOUG PRUDDEN, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. #1] on March 17, 2014. On May 31, 2014 Respondent filed his Response to the Court's Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should Not be Granted [Doc. #11]. On July 15, 2014 Petitioner filed his Reply to Response to the Court's Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should Not be Granted. 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, as will be discussed in further detail. For the reasons explained below, the Response to the Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should not be Granted is well taken and the petition will be denied.

         Procedural Background

         On November 4, 2005, Petitioner was convicted of trafficking second degree as a prior and persistent drug offender. The Circuit Court in the City of St. Louis, on February 6, 2006, sentenced Petitioner to 15 years imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Missouri, affirmed his conviction. The Petitioner is currently within the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections under the previously referenced sentence.

         Petitioner filed his pro se motion for post-conviction relief, pursuant to Rule 29.15, relative to the case on February 26, 2008. On October 3, 2012, the Missouri state trial court denied the post-conviction relief motion of Petitioner. Petitioner, on June 26, 2013, filed a timely notice of appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court ruling on the Rule 29.15 motion November 26, 2013.

         Petitioner filed this Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus against Respondent on March 17, 2014. In Ground One, Petitioner claims the trial court denied both the motion for judgment of acquittal and motion to suppress. Petitioner contends the arresting officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop petitioner's car. Petitioner also contends that his counsel was ineffective because these grounds were not raised.

         In Ground Two, Petitioner claims counsel was ineffective for not challenging the sufficiency of the evidence and for failing to call a witness.

         In Ground Three Petitioner alleges the trial court committed error for convicting Petitioner based on an improper information or indictment wherein the state failed to plead the element of knowledge which he contends renders invalid 195.223 RSMo.

         In Ground Four, Petitioner contends counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the knowledge requirement of the information or indictment.

         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 ...

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