Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jones v. Griffith

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

February 7, 2018

PATRICK L. JONES, Petitioner,
v.
CINDY GRIFFITH[1], Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANNETTE A. BAKER, United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Missouri state prisoner Patrick L. Jones' (“Petitioner”) pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1). The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). (Doc. 8). For the following reasons, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus will be denied.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         A jury convicted Petitioner of two counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree[2], two counts of child molestation in the first degree, one count of statutory rape in the second degree, and one count of statutory sodomy in the second degree, and sentenced him to concurrent terms of imprisonment of thirty years, thirty years, fifteen years, fifteen years, seven years, and seven years. Resp't. Ex. H at 4.[3]

         On direct appeal, the Missouri Court of Appeals summarized the facts as follows:

TR [the victim] was born in August 1994. In May 2008, [Petitioner], the boyfriend of TR's mother, moved in with her family. TR initially slept in the basement. Approximately one week after the move, [Petitioner] went to the basement where TR was sleeping and placed his hand under her bra, felt her breasts, pulled off her shorts, rubbed her vagina with his hand, and rubbed her vagina with his penis. [Petitioner] threatened her and her family if she told anyone. Similar incidents happened in 2008 and 2009, even after TR moved upstairs and shared a bedroom with her sister. After TR's fourteenth birthday, [Petitioner] put his mouth on her vagina, and penetrated her with the head of his penis. TR never told her mother because she assumed that her mother would not believe her as her mother seemed to favor [Petitioner] over TR in disputes. TR eventually told her friend [“TR's Friend” or “Friend”] . . . about the incidents with [Petitioner]. [Her Friend] advised her to tell her mother, and later suggested that TR tell a counselor at her school.
During the week of Thanksgiving 2009, [TR's Friend] told a school counselor, Carol Robinson (“Counselor”) that a friend of hers had a secret. Counselor said that the secret should be shared if it was of a serious nature, and if [TR's Friend] was uncomfortable with sharing it, to encourage her friend to do so. [TR's Friend] left and later returned to Counselor with TR. Counselor began asking questions of TR, about whether someone hit her, or made her feel uncomfortable. TR told her that it was her mother's boyfriend. Counselor asked if [Petitioner] had sex with her, at which point TR nodded her head and began to cry. Counselor reported the matter to her administrator.
Detective Harolton Clayborn of the St. Louis County Police contacted TR's mother, and attempted to contact [Petitioner]. [Petitioner] was arrested, and after reading him his Miranda rights, [Petitioner] acknowledged that he understood by initialing and signing the Miranda rights form. [Petitioner] did not request an attorney. During the questioning, [Petitioner] admitted that one time he was intoxicated and touched TR's breast in her bedroom. Under continued questioning, [Petitioner] began to cry and admitted to two other occasions when he went into TR's bedroom and touched her breast. He denied other acts. [Petitioner] stated to Detective Clayborn that he was tired of talking and wanted to leave, at which point Detective Clayborn asked him if he would reduce his statement to writing or if he would give an audio tape. [Petitioner] gave a written statement. [Petitioner]'s written statement was that on about three occasions, he was intoxicated by marijuana and alcohol and went into TR's bedroom by mistake, and feeling on what he thought was his side of the bed for TR's mother, he realized he was feeling TR's breasts. Prior to trial, [Petitioner] filed a motion to suppress his written statement, which the trial court denied.
At trial, TR, [TR's Friend], Counselor, and Detective Clayborn testified, and the State introduced a number of exhibits, including [Petitioner]'s written statement.

Resp't. Ex. E at 1-3.

         The Missouri Court of Appeals, on direct appeal, reversed one of Petitioner's convictions for insufficient evidence, as noted supra, and in all other respects affirmed his conviction. Resp't. Ex. E. Petitioner filed a Rule 29.15 motion for post-conviction relief, which counsel amended, in which he sought relief on grounds that he was denied effective assistance of counsel. Resp't. Ex. F at 19. The motion court denied Petitioner's motion without an evidentiary hearing. Resp't Ex. F at 109. In his appeal of the motion court's denial of his motion for post-conviction relief, Petitioner raised two claims. Petitioner claimed that the motion court erred in denying his claims that his trial counsel was ineffective in (1) not calling the victim's mother to testify; and (2) failing to adequately question the victim about when the sexual assaults first began, and to impeach her with deposition testimony. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the motion court's decision. Resp't Ex. I.

         On Februay 19, 2015, Petitioner filed his pro se petition in the instant action. Petitioner raised three claims: (1) trial counsel was ineffective in failing to call the victim's mother to testify; (2) trial counsel was ineffective in failing to question the victim about when the sexual assaults first began and to impeach her with deposition testimony; and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in overruling his counsel's objections to the alleged hearsay testimony of the victim's Counselor and her Friend. Respondent filed a response (Doc. 11), and Petitioner filed a traverse (Doc. 14).

         II. Legal Standards

         A. Standard for Reviewing Habeas Corpus Claims on the Merits

         A federal judge may issue a writ of habeas corpus freeing a state prisoner, if the prisoner is “in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. 2254(a). However, the judge may not issue the writ if an adequate and independent state-law ground justifies the prisoner's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.