United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. COLLINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the petition of Anthony
Williams for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction
of the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(c). After reviewing the case file, the Court finds
that Petitioner is not entitled to relief. Therefore, the
petition is denied.
was charged, by way of Information in Lieu of Indictment,
with one count of attempted robbery in the first degree, one
count of murder in the second degree, and two counts of armed
criminal action. Resp't Ex. B, 20-21. After a jury trial,
the trial court sentenced Petitioner to an aggregate term of
thirty years' imprisonment. Id. at 67-71.
facts of this case, as set forth by the Missouri Court of
Appeals, are as follows:
On or about March 22, 2010, Earl Bush (Victim) and Ebonyi
Blakely (Witness) went to the Nico Terrance Apartments in St.
Louis County. As they were leaving the complex, [Williams]
told them that “Sed” wanted him to stop Victim.
Victim parked the car and waited for [Williams] to get Sed.
When [Williams] came back outside and told Victim that Sed
would be out in a minute, Victim said he could not wait, and
gave [Williams] his phone number. As Victim began to pull
away, [Williams] pulled out a gun and said, “give it
up” or “give me what you got.” When Victim
continued to drive away, [Williams] shot and killed Victim.
After following “rumors, suspects, and
innuendos”, the lead investigator of Victim's
homicide, Detective Bob Vogel (Detective Vogel), developed
two lineups to show Witness. After Witness identified
[Williams] from the second lineup, Detective Vogel arrested
and interrogated [Williams]. Although [Williams] initially
denied being at the apartment complex the night of the
murder, he eventually admitted that he shot Victim.
[Williams] explained that because Victim had robbed him at
gunpoint earlier in the evening, he shot Victim while trying
to get his money back. When left alone in the interview room,
the police recorded [Williams] saying to himself, “I
can't believe I did that. I fucked my whole life
up” and he couldn't believe his friend
“snitched” on him. When Detective Vogel returned
to the room, however, [Williams] said he had lied earlier,
and that he did not shoot Victim.
At trial, [Williams] testified in his own defense that he did
not shoot Victim, and that he was not present during the
alleged shooting. During the State's closing arguments,
the prosecutor told the jury:
Now, the investigation led to [Williams]. Detective Vogel
didn't just pull his name out of a hat. They had his name
before [Witness] ever identified him. That's why they
knew who to show her.
After defense counsel objected claiming that the prosecutor
misstated the evidence, the trial court told the jury to
“ignore the last statement.” Afterwards, the
They got [Williams's] name before [Witness] ever
identified him. That's how [Detective Vogel] knew what
pictures to show her, what picture to put in the lineup to
show her. They had his name.
Defense counsel did not object to this statement.
Following the close of all evidence and arguments by both
sides, the jury found [Williams] guilty of one count of
attempted robbery in the first degree, one count of murder in
the second degree, and two counts of armed criminal action.
Resp't Ex. E, 2-4.
direct appeal, Petitioner argued that the trial court plainly
erred in failing to sua sponte declare a mistrial
during the prosecutor's closing argument because the
prosecutor made improper statements. Resp't Ex. C, 9.
Specifically, Petitioner argued that the prosecutor's
statement, “They got [Williams's] name before
[Witness] ever identified him. That's how [Detective
Vogel] knew what pictures to show her, what picture to put in
the lineup to show her. They had his name, ” injected
matters improper for consideration into the minds of the
jurors and inflamed their passions and prejudices.
Missouri Court of Appeals reviewed Petitioner's claim for
plain error because he failed to preserve it for appeal.
Id. The court affirmed, finding that the
prosecutor's remarks were supported by the evidence.
Id. at 10-11. The court also found that the remarks
did not prejudice Petitioner because the evidence of guilt
was overwhelming. Id. at 11. The judgment was
entered on April 9, 2013, and the mandate issued on May 1,
2013. Id. at 1, 4-5.
November 12, 2013, Petitioner filed a Rule 29.15 motion for
postconviction relief. Williams v. Missouri, No.
13SL-CC04045 (St. Louis County). The government moved to
dismiss the motion as untimely, and on May 2, 2014, the court
granted the government's motion and dismissed the case.
Id.; Resp't Ex. F, 1-2. Petitioner did not