United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. COLLINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the court on Petitioner's Amended
Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas
Corpus by a Person in State Custody (Doc. 25). The parties
have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)
(Doc. 9). After reviewing the case, the Court has determined
that Petitioner is not entitled to relief. As a result, the
Court will DENY the Amended Petition and
DISMISS the case.
15, 2010, Petitioner was charged with two counts of
first-degree statutory sodomy (Counts I and II) and one count
of first-degree child molestation (Count II) (Doc. 28-1 at
12). On May 1, 2011, trial counsel filed a request for
psychological examination and a report was prepared (Doc.
28-1 at 9; Doc. 25-4). On May 3, 2013, Petitioner pleaded
guilty to Counts II and III and Count I was dismissed
(hereinafter “Original Plea Hearing”) (Doc. 28-1
at 7, 17-19). Sentencing was deferred so that Petitioner
could be screened for the Sex Offender Assessment Unit
(“SOAU”) (Id. at 19). On June 28, 2013,
it was determined that Petitioner was not eligible for the
SOAU because of the first-degree statutory sodomy charge
(Id. at 20). Accordingly, the prosecutor filed an
amended information in lieu of indictment reducing Count II
to second-degree statutory sodomy (Id. at 14). On
June 28, 2013, Petitioner pleaded guilty to the amended
charges (hereinafter “Second Plea Hearing”)
(Id. at 15, 20-24). The trial court sentenced
Petitioner to fourteen years in the Missouri Department of
Corrections (Id. at 22-23, 25-27). The trial court
suspended execution of that sentence and ordered Petitioner
to complete 120 days of treatment in the SOAU (Id.
at 23). On October 26, 2013, Petitioner was placed on
probation for a period of five years (Id. at 5).
Petitioner did not file a direct appeal (Doc. 25 at 4).
November 20, 2013, Petitioner filed a pro se motion
for post-conviction relief pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court
Rule 24.035 (“Rule 24.035”) (Doc. 28-1 at 32-38).
On April 7, 2014, with the assistance of counsel, Petitioner
filed an amended motion for post-conviction relief
(Id. at 44-57). On May 29, 2014, without an
evidentiary hearing, the motion court denied Petitioner's
amended motion (Id.at 59-64). On July 8, 2014,
Petitioner, with the assistance of counsel, filed an appeal
raising one ground for relief:
(1) The motion court erred when it denied Petitioner's
motion for post-conviction relief without a hearing because
he alleged facts not conclusively refuted by the record
which, if proven, would entitle him to relief in that he was
denied his rights to due process and effective assistance of
counsel because plea counsel's refusal to litigate a
motion to suppress statements made during a police
interrogation left Petitioner without a defense and caused
him to plead guilty when he otherwise would not have.
(Id. at 67; Doc. 28-2 at 1-22). On March 10, 2015,
the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District
affirmed the motion court's denial of the motion (Doc.
28-4; Biggs v. Missouri, 457 S.W.3d 393 (Mo. App.
26, 2015, Petitioner filed his Petition under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State
Custody (Doc. 1). On September 14, 2015, the Court appointed
counsel and directed newly appointed counsel to file an
amended petition on behalf of Petitioner.
December 4, 2015, with the assistance of appointed counsel,
Petitioner filed an Amended Petition raising the following
ground for relief:
(1) Petitioner asserts that plea counsel was ineffective for
failing to raise the issue of Petitioner's competence to
enter into a knowing and voluntary plea.
(Doc. 25 at 5; Doc. 29 at 3 (clarifying that Count II is not
an independent basis for review)). As a preliminary matter,
because Petitioner's Amended Petition supersedes his
original Petition, the Court will deny Petitioner's
original Petition as moot. See In re Wireless Tel. Fed.
Cost Recovery Fee Litig., 396 F.3d 922, 928
(8th Cir. 2005) (“It is well-established that an
amended complaint supercedes an original complaint and
renders the original complaint without legal effect.”).
the habeas setting, a federal court is bound by the AEDPA to
exercise only limited and deferential review of underlying
state court decisions.” Lomholt v. Iowa, 327
F.3d 748, 751 (8th Cir. 2003). Under this standard, a federal
court may not grant relief to a state prisoner unless the
state court's adjudication of a claim “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 “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).
court decision is contrary to clearly established Supreme
Court precedent if “the state court arrives at a
conclusion opposite to that reached by [the] Court on a
question of law or . . . decides a case differently than
[the] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable
facts.” Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 413
(2000). A state court decision is an unreasonable application
of clearly established federal law if it “correctly
identifies the governing legal rule but applies it
unreasonably to the facts of a particular prisoner's
case.” Id. at 407-08. Finally, a state court
decision involves an unreasonable determination of the facts
in light of the evidence presented in the state court