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Wilson v. State

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

July 23, 2019

DE'ANGELO WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JOHN M. BODENHAUSEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court of the petition of De'Angelo Wilson for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

         I. Procedural Background

         Petitioner De'Angelo Wilson is presently incarcerated at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Missouri, pursuant to the judgment and sentence of the Circuit Court of Audrain County. On March 20, 2015, petitioner pleaded guilty to domestic assault in the second degree § 565.073, Mo.Rev.Stat. Judgment [Doc. # 15 at 11]; Transcript [Doc. # 15 at 14-22].[1]The Circuit Court of Audrain County found petitioner to be a prior and persistent offender[2] and, in accordance with the parties' plea agreement, sentenced him to a term of ten years' imprisonment. Transcript [Doc. # 15 at 20]; Judgment. The court suspended execution of the sentence and placed petitioner on probation for five years. Id. On October 16, 2015, petitioner pleaded guilty to three new charges and admitted that he violated the terms of his probation.[3]Transcript [Doc. #15 at 23-44]. The circuit court ordered execution of petitioner's ten-year sentence. Id. at 29-30. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal but timely filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 24.035, which was denied on June 28, 2017. Order [Doc. # 15 at 80-83]. On February 20, 2018, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief. Wilson v. State, No. ED105775 (Mo.Ct.App. February 20, 2018) [Doc. # 12-3]. On April 16, 2018, petitioner timely filed his § 2254 petition, in which he asserts four claims challenging the validity of his guilty plea to second-degree domestic assault. [Doc. #1].

         II. Factual Background

         On March 20, 2015, petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree domestic assault, arising from his conduct on December 7, 2014. During the plea proceedings, the court asked petitioner if he understood that by pleading guilty he was admitting all the essential elements of the charge against him. [Doc. # 15 at 16]. Petitioner answered that he so understood. The court then reviewed the elements of the second-degree domestic assault charge against petitioner: (1) petitioner recklessly caused serious physical injury to the victim T.P. by biting and kicking her; (2) they were family or household members; and (3) they were adults who were or had been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. When asked by the court, petitioner admitted these elements. Id. at 16-17. Petitioner also acknowledged that he was charged as a prior and persistent offender based on two prior felony convictions.[4]

         At the court's direction, the prosecutor recited the facts that would have been proven at trial: On December 7, 2014, police officers spoke with victim T.P. at the hospital in Mexico, Missouri. T.P. told the officers that petitioner had been her boyfriend for approximately six months. On the day of the assault, she reported, petitioner instigated an argument. She left the house and went to a neighbor's home. Petitioner followed her into the neighbor's kitchen. T.P. told the officers that petitioner “rushed her and she put her hands up to protect herself and [petitioner] grabbed her shoulders using both hands [to pull] her towards him.” Petitioner “bit her nose” and “then pushed her to the ground.” Once T.P. was on the ground, petitioner kicked her in the left rib cage, shoulder, and head. [Doc. # 15 at 18-19]. The officers observed a laceration on T.P.'s right nostril, what appeared to be a small puncture mark on her left nostril, abrasions on her neck, a baseball-sized red mark on her back between her shoulders, and baseball-sized bruises on both arms. Id. at 19-20. In response to a question from the court, petitioner stated that he agreed with these facts. Based on petitioner's statements under oath, the court found that there was a factual basis for his guilty plea, that he understood the nature of the charge, and that his plea was voluntary and unequivocal. Id. at 20.

         Appointed counsel presented a single claim during petitioner's postconviction proceedings: that he was denied due process of law when the state court accepted his guilty plea because a factual basis for the offense of second-degree domestic assault was not established. PCR motion [Doc. # 15 at 71-75]. The same claim was properly presented on appeal from the denial of postconviction relief. Appellate brief [Doc. # 12-1].

         III. Legal Standards

         When a claim has been adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings, habeas relief is permissible under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), only if the state court's determination:

(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 in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)-(2).

         A state court's decision is “contrary to” clearly established law if “it applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth in [the Supreme Court's] cases, or if it confronts a set of facts that is materially indistinguishable from a decision of [the Supreme Court] but reaches a different result.” Brown v. Payton, 544 U.S. 133, 141 (2005). “The state court need not cite or even be aware of the governing Supreme Court cases, ‘so long as neither the reasoning nor the result of the state-court decision contradicts them.'” Brown v. Luebbers, 371 F.3d 458, 461 (8th Cir. 2004) (citing Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002)). “In the ‘contrary to' analysis of the state ...


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