Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

McDaniel v. Boyles

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

May 24, 2018

ALANA BOYLES, Respondent.



         This matter is before me on Petitioner Jasmine McDaniel's petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">22');">254. For the reasons set forth below, I find that McDaniel's claims are without merit and, as a result, her petition will be denied.

         I. Background

         On October 10, 2');">2012');">2, Jasmine McDaniel was charged with robbery in the second-degree under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.030 (2');">2012');">2). On March 5, 2');">2013, in the Circuit Court of Warren Country, Missouri, McDaniel pleaded guilty to the charge. At the plea hearing she admitted that, on June 2');">25, 2');">2012');">2, she forcibly stole money in the care of a bank teller at First State Community Bank. She entered the bank, approached the teller's window, and threw the teller an envelope which had written on it, “This is a robbery.” McDaniel snatched money from the teller's hand and left the bank. Police reviewed the surveillance footage and made contact with McDaniel based on the description they were given. McDaniel was interviewed by the FBI and she told them that she had given a note to a teller, got the money, and left. When the circuit judge asked McDaniel if she agreed those were the facts the State would have to prove if the case went to trial, McDaniel initially protested by stating, “I gave the teller two pages of documents that said ‘cry for help' on the note . . . .” She then followed this statement by adding: “but I do understand what you're saying.” When the judge asked for clarification from McDaniel whether she knew these were the facts that would be presented at trial, McDaniel said, “Yes.”

         At the plea hearing, McDaniel testified that she understood her constitutional rights relating to a criminal trial and that she further understood that she was waiving those rights by pleading guilty. McDaniel testified that she understood that by pleading guilty, she was admitting the essential elements of the charge: namely, that on or about June 2');">25, 2');">2012');">2, she forcibly stole money from a bank. McDaniel testified that she had not received any threats or promises to cause her to plead guilty, nor had she received any promises regarding the sentence she would receive. The judge found a factual basis for her plea, and finding her plea to be knowing and voluntary, accepted the plea.

         On May 7, 2');">2013, McDaniel appeared for sentencing. Evidence was presented that five days before she robbed the bank in Missouri, McDaniel had robbed a bank in Pennsylvania. The judge sentenced McDaniel to fifteen years imprisonment.

         On June 17, 2');">2013, McDaniel filed a Missouri Supreme Court Rule 2');">24.035 post-conviction motion. Her post-conviction motion was amended by appointed counsel on October 18, 2');">2013. The amended motion alleged there was an insufficient factual basis to support a guilty plea to second-degree robbery because there were no facts set forth that McDaniel “forcibly stole.” The amended motion further alleged ineffective assistance of counsel by asserting that McDaniel's plea attorney did not tell McDaniel that she had a defense to the “forcibly stole” element of second-degree robbery.

         At an evidentiary hearing held August 2');">26, 2');">2014, McDaniel's plea attorney testified that she went over all of the discovery with McDaniel. Her attorney also reviewed possible defenses and trial strategies with McDaniel. McDaniel's attorney thought there was enough evidence to establish the elements for robbery. Her attorney specifically recalled that McDaniel wanted the charge to be reduced to a misdemeanor stealing and that she told McDaniel that she didn't think that was realistic to expect based on the evidence including the note McDaniel used which stated, “This is a robbery.” McDaniel's plea attorney stated that based on the evidence, “there was no way a prosecutor would agree to a misdemeanor and no way that we would be able to get one from a jury.” [Doc. # 6-2');">2, Ex. B, p.12');">2] The attorney recalled that the State was seeking the maximum penalty of fifteen years. The attorney testified that she explained to McDaniel what a blind plea of guilty was and that it was McDaniel's own choice to enter a blind plea of guilty.

         McDaniel's testimony consisted mostly of her insistence that she had merely committed stealing, not robbery, however she admitted that the envelope that she handed to the bank teller stated, “This is a robbery.”[1] [Id. at 2');">20] The envelope contained papers (a note) about human rights issues. McDaniel characterized the note as a “cry for help.” [Id. at 18] McDaniel testified at the hearing that her attorney did not tell her she had a potential defense to robbery based on insufficient proof of force. [Id. at 15] After the hearing, the motion court denied the motion in a written judgment without making specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. [Doc. # 6-1, Ex. A, p.60]

         On October 1, 2');">2014, McDaniel appealed the denial of her post-conviction motion to the Missouri Court of Appeals. She raised three grounds for relief. First, McDaniel claimed that the motion court clearly erred denying her Rule 2');">24.035 motion after an evidentiary hearing because her guilty plea to second-degree robbery was invalid given that no adequate factual basis was shown to support the plea. She argued that the State neither alleged nor did McDaniel admit any facts supporting the use or threat to immediately use force against the bank teller per the requirements for finding second-degree robbery. Second, McDaniel asserted that the motion court erred in denying her ground for relief, claiming that plea counsel was ineffective for failing to advise her that she could have asserted the State's inability to establish the force or threat of force element of second-degree robbery as a defense at trial. Third, McDaniel asserted that the motion court clearly erred in denying her motion without entering specific findings of fact and conclusions of law in its order and judgment because this failure rendered meaningful appellate review of her motion impossible. The court affirmed the motion court's judgment in a per curiam opinion, and in an attached nonprecedential memorandum rejected all three of McDaniel's claims. [Doc. # 6-5, Ex. E, p. 9] On October 14, 2');">2016, McDaniel filed the instant petition under 2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">22');">254 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

         II. Legal Standard

         A federal district court's power to review state court criminal decisions in a federal habeas corpus proceeding is limited. Harrington v. Richter, 562');">2 U.S. 86');">562');">2 U.S. 86, 92');">2 (2');">2011). “[I]t is not the province of a federal habeas court to reexamine state-court determinations on state-law questions. In conducting habeas review, a federal court is limited to deciding whether a conviction violated the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” Estelle v. McGuire, 502');">2 U.S. 62');">2');">502');">2 U.S. 62');">2, 67-68 (1991) (citations omitted). A federal court's power to grant a writ of habeas corpus is governed by 2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">22');">254(d), which provides:

(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody 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');">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.

2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">22');">254(d).

         The Supreme Court construed § 2');">22');">254(d) in Williams v. Taylor, 52');">29 U.S. 362');">2');">52');">29 U.S. 362');">2 (2');">2000). With respect to the “contrary to” language, a majority of the Court held that a state court decision is contrary to clearly established Federal law “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] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.” Williams, 52');">29 U.S. at 413. Under the “unreasonable application” prong of § 2');">22');">254(d)(1), a writ may issue if “the state court identifies the correct governing legal rule from [the Supreme Court's] cases but unreasonably applies [the principle] to the facts of the particular state prisoner's case.” Id Thus, “a federal habeas court making the ‘unreasonable application' inquiry should ask whether the state court's application of clearly established federal law was objectively unreasonable.” Id at 409. Without providing a specific standard, the Court noted that “an unreasonable application of federal law is different from an incorrect application of federal law.” Id at 410. Specifically, for a federal court to grant a writ of habeas corpus, a state prisoner must show that “the state court's ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded disagreement.” Harrington, 562');">2 U.S. at 102');">2.

         As with legal findings, “a determination of a factual issue by a State court shall be presumed to be correct. The applicant shall have the burden of rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence.” 2');">28 U.S.C. § 2');">22');">254(e)(1).

         In addition, claims in a habeas petition “that have not been presented to the state courts, and for which there are no remaining state remedies, are procedurally defaulted.” Skillicorn v. Luebbers, 475 F.3d 965, 976 (8th Cir. 2');">2007). “Unless a habeas petitioner shows cause and prejudice or that he is actually innocent of the charges, a court may not reach the merits of procedurally defaulted claims in which the petitioner failed to follow applicable state procedural rules in raising the claims.” IdIII. Discussion McDaniel asserts four grounds for relief. First, McDaniel claims that her guilty plea violated due process because there was no trial; she received ineffective assistance of counsel; and the court failed to comply with Missouri Supreme Court 2');">24.02');">2(a). [Doc. # 1, Pet. p. 5] Second, McDaniel contends that the guilty plea was improper because there was no factual basis for her guilty plea to second-degree robbery. [Id at 7] Third, McDaniel claims that her counsel was ineffective because ...

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.