United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
JOHN J. DONLEY, Petitioner,
MICHAEL BOWERSOX, Respondent.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
SHIRLEY PADMORE MENSAH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the undersigned on the petition of Missouri
state prisoner John J. Donley (“Petitioner”) for
a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
(Doc. 1). This matter was referred to the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). For the following
reasons, the undersigned recommends that the petition be
August 2009, Petitioner pleaded guilty to one count of
second-degree murder and one count of armed criminal action
in the St. Louis City Circuit Court. Resp't Ex. A, at
19-28. At the plea hearing, Petitioner testified
that he understood that he did not have to plead guilty, that
he had a right to a jury trial, that at a trial his attorney
would be able to present evidences and witnesses for him,
that at a trial the State would have to prove him guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt, and that if a jury convicted him
he would have the right to appeal. Id. at 25. He
testified that he understood that if he pleaded guilty, there
would be no trial, no appeal, and he would give up the rights
the court had explained to him. Id. The prosecutor
stated, inter alia, that had the case proceeded to
trial, the State would have proven that the defendant
committed the felony of murder in the second degree in that
he knowingly caused the death of the victim by stabbing her
with a knife and puncturing her heart and lungs, and that
Petitioner committed the felony of armed criminal action by
committing murder in the second degree by, with, and through
the knowing use, assistance, and aid of a dangerous
instrument. Id. Petitioner testified that what the
prosecutor had said was true, that he had done what the
prosecutor said he did, and that it happened the way the
prosecutor said it happened. Id. at 25-26.
Petitioner testified that he understood that if he went to
trial, he could receive a sentence of ten to thirty years or
life on the second-degree murder charge, and three years to
life on the armed criminal action charge. Id. at 26.
The State recommended a sentence of thirty years on each
count, to run concurrently, and Petitioner testified that he
understood and agreed with the State's recommendation.
Id. at 26.
plea court and Petitioner then had the following exchange:
THE COURT: Have you told your lawyer all the facts
surrounding the crime with which you have been charged?
THE COURT: Has your lawyer fully answered your questions?
THE COURT: Has he done what you've asked him to do?
THE COURT: If there were a trial are there any witnesses whom
you would want your lawyer to bring into court to testify for
THE COURT: Do you have any complaints with your lawyer?
THE COURT: Has anyone threatened you, intimidated you,
mistreated you or any member of your family, or in any way
forced you to ...