The opinion of the court was delivered by: BLANCHE MANNING, District Judge
Petitioner Monica Cosby's petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is before the court. For the
following reasons, Cosby's petition is denied.
The court will presume that the state court's factual
determinations are correct for the purposes of habeas review as
Cosby does not challenge them and has not provided clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary. See
28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Todd v. Schomig, 283 F.3d 842, 846 (7th Cir. 2002).
The court thus adopts the state court's recitation of the facts,
and will briefly summarize the key facts which are relevant to
Cosby's § 2254 petition. See People v. Cosby, No. 1-98-3770
(1st Dist. Jun. 6, 2000) (direct appeal) (unpublished order);
People v. Cosby, No. 96 CR 1896 (Cir.Ct. Apr. 8, 2001) (trial
court's disposition of collateral attack) (unpublished order);
People v. Cosby, No. 1-01-2083 (1st Dist. May 27, 2003)
(collateral appeal) (unpublished order).
The victim, Bobbie King, lived in a one-bedroom apartment in
Rodgers Park with her young son. In late 1995, Kevin King
(Bobbie's adult son), Cosby (Kevin's girlfriend), and Cosby's three children moved into Bobbie's apartment. The new
arrivals caused Bobbie to give up her bedroom and sleep on the
floor by her son's crib. Bobbie must not have liked the new
living arrangement as she told her daughter that she wanted
Kevin, Cosby, and Cosby's children to move out.
Shortly thereafter, on December 26, 1995, Cosby and Kevin went
over to a friend's apartment and Cosby consumed beer, rum, and
marijuana. Later that evening after Kevin and Cosby returned to
Bobbie's apartment, Bobbie told them that they would have to move
out in a few days. Bobbie, Kevin, and Cosby argued. Cosby took
her children into the kitchen while Kevin and his mother
continued to argue. Kevin then entered the kitchen, told Cosby
that everything would be all right because he had killed his
mother, and led Cosby to the bathroom where she saw Bobbie's
body, with a bloodied face and head, lying motionless in the
Cosby obtained a plastic bag and placed it over Bobbie's head.
Kevin secured the bag by tying an electrical cord around Bobbie's
neck. Cosby and Kevin then moved the body into the bathtub,
covered it with clothing, and retired to the living room to
engage in sexual relations and take a nap. Several hours later,
they tied Bobbie's hands and feet together, wrapped her body in a
shower curtain, placed her upside-down in a shopping cart, and
hid the cart in a neighbor's closet.
Bobbie's daughter called the police when her mother was
missing. The police thus visited Bobbie's apartment twice during
the afternoon of December 27th. The first time, Cosby denied that
she knew Bobbie. The second time, she told them that she had last
seen Bobbie at approximately 5:00 a.m., just before she and Kevin
had gone into the bedroom to engage in sexual relations.
According to Cosby, when they emerged, Bobbie was gone. Police
arrived for a third time later that day pursuant to a call from one of
Cosby's friends who told the police that Cosby had shown her the
body. Cosby and Kevin were subsequently arrested and charged with
murder and concealment of a homicidal death.
Shortly after midnight on December 28th, while in police
custody, Cosby invoked her right to remain silent. Around that
time, she met with Alan Mills, a family friend and attorney.
Mills also reiterated that Cosby wished to remain silent. At
approximately 3:00 a.m., the police again informed Cosby of her
rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 385 U.S. 436 (1966), and
confronted her with a statement made by Kevin, her co-defendant.
In response, Cosby stated, among other things, that "[s]he
brought a plastic bag to the bathroom and put the plastic bag
over Bobbie King's head."
Later, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the police once again
informed Cosby of her Miranda rights and she agreed to give a
memorialized statement to an Assistant State's Attorney. In this
statement, which was later introduced at trial, Cosby
acknowledged that she understood her rights under Miranda, had
been given water, had refused any other food or drink, and had
been treated well by the police and the Assistant State's
Attorney. She then stated, among other things, that after Kevin
showed her Bobbie's body, she went to the kitchen to get a clear
plastic bag to put over Bobbie's head and then placed the bag
over Bobbie's head.
She also told the Assistant State's Attorney that she helped
Kevin move Bobbie into the bathtub and cover the body with
clothing, subsequently removed Bobbie from the bathtub, cut
strips off a blanket to tie her up, helped Kevin tie her hands
and feet together, and placed her upside-down in a cart to "get
rid of the body." She concluded by stating that she and Kevin
took the cart to another apartment to hide it until they could take it
out of the building safely without getting caught by the police.
At Cosby's trial before Judge Bertina Lampkin, medical
testimony indicated that Bobbie had died as a result of
strangulation and that blunt force trauma to the head was a major
contributing factor. It also indicated that Bobbie had suffered
three separate blows to the head and that she was alive when the
bag was placed over her head and when her hands and feet were
tied together. Cosby's 9:00 a.m. statement was also admitted
Cosby testified and attempted to put a positive slant on her
relationship with Bobbie. She also stated that she was afraid of
Kevin and that she thought Bobbie was dead when she helped move
her body into the bathtub. In addition, she testified that Kevin
placed the bag over Bobbie's head and that she had previously
told the police that she did put the bag onto Bobbie because she
Cosby was found guilty of first degree murder and concealment
of a homicidal death. During the sentencing hearing, the State
emphasized the brutality of the crime and Cosby's callous
behavior. Cosby expressed remorse and the defense presented
evidence showing that Cosby was involved with several community
groups and had a history of abusive relationships with men, a
difficult upbringing, and no prior criminal record. Judge Lampkin
found that Cosby had helped Kevin brutally murder Bobbie and knew
that Bobbie was alive when the bag was placed over her head. She
also stated that she believed that Cosby's trial testimony was
untruthful and that her statement during the sentencing hearing
was insincere. Finally, she discounted the positive statements in
the letters Cosby presented and found that Kevin did not force her to act as she did. She thus sentenced Cosby to forty
years for murder plus three years for concealment, to be served
On direct appeal, Cosby presented a battered women's defense
and contended that the sentencing judge had abused her discretion
by imposing an excessive sentence. The appellate court rejected
this argument but found that the trial court had erred by
imposing a consecutive rather ...