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United States ex rel Williams v. Ott

February 2, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. DWAYNE WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
v.
ANDY OTT, WARDEN GRAHAM CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert M. Dow, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Petitioner Dwayne Williams ("Williams"), an Illinois state prisoner, seeks a writ of habeas corpus [1] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, claiming that he is being held in custody in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Williams' petition has been fully briefed. For the following reasons, Williams' petition for writ of habeas corpus [1] is denied.

I. Background

Petitioner does not present clear and convincing evidence challenging the statement of facts set forth in the Illinois Appellate Court' s decision on direct appeal, and thus the Court presumes those fact are correct for purposes of its habeas review. See Daniels v. Knight, 476 F.3d 426, 434 (7th Cir. 2007). Therefore, the Court adopts the following accounts from the Illinois Appellate Court' s Rule 23 Order in People v. Williams, Nos. 2-02-1375 & 2-02-1227 (Ill. App. 2d Dist. June 22, 2004). Ex. D*fn1 (Rule 23 Order).

A. Factual Background

Following a 2002 jury trial, Dwayne Williams was convicted of home invasion and attempted criminal sexual assault. Ex. D at 1. The trial court sentenced him to imprisonment for twenty years for home invasion and seven years for attempted criminal sexual assault, to be served concurrently. Id. Williams' convictions stem from events that took place on the evening of July 13, 2002. Id. at 2. Deana Forrester testified at trial that on that evening she was repairing her car in the parking lot of her Waukegon apartment complex when Williams approached her. Id. He introduced himself and offered to help Forrester fix her car. Id. Forrester declined, and after approximately fifteen minutes of conversation, Williams left and entered the apartment building next to hers. As Williams left, he placed his business card on the walkway for Forrester. Id. Forrester continued working on her car. Id. Williams approached her again approximately fifteen minutes later and attempted to start a conversation. Id. This exchange lasted less than five minutes, after which Williams left and re-entered the apartment building next to the building in which Forrester lived. Id.

As Forrester continued working on her car, she noticed someone watching her from a balcony of the building that Williams had entered. Id. Forrester testified that although she was too far away to make a positive identification, the person watching her was a black male with little hair. Id.

Forrester finished repairing her car and took it for a test drive for approximately fifteen minutes. Id. When she returned, Forrester parked in the same place and entered her building by using her key on the locked outer door. Id. As Forrester entered the building she saw a black hand grab the door. Id. Forrester then proceeded to the second floor, and when she opened the non-secure door, she saw that it was Williams who had followed her in. Id.

Forrester continued to her apartment and entered it. Id. When Forrester didn' t hear her heavy front door slam shut she turned around and saw Williams standing in the doorway. Id. He entered her apartment. Id. Forrester told him to leave. Id. Instead, Williams removed his shoes and sat down on her couch. Id. Forrester again told him to leave, and again he did not. Id. at 3. Instead, Williams rose up, grabbed Forrester, and shoved her onto the couch. Williams lifted up her shirt and tried to rub her back. Id. While restraining her hands, Williams straddled her hips and tried to kiss her. Id. Forrester continued to resist and again told him to leave. Id. Pinning her hands under his knees, Williams then lowered his jeans and took his penis out from his boxer shorts and directed Forrester to put her hands and mouth on it, but she refused. Id. Williams grabbed Forrester' s breasts through her clothing and attempted to pull down her shorts. Id. Forrester then told Williams that she had her period and a disease that could be transmitted through bodily fluids. Id. Williams apologized and got up. Id. Forrester again told him to leave. Id. On his way out, Williams tore the business card he had given Forrester in half and wrote a number on it, which he said was his cell phone number. Id. Williams then left her apartment. Id. Forrester testified that Williams had been in her apartment between fifteen and twenty-five minutes, during which time she had noted his blue contact lenses. Id.

Forrester testified that she attempted to call her mother in California, whose phone was disconnected. Id. Forrester next called her sister, who told her to call the police. Id. Forrester called the police that night at approximately 11:30 p.m. Id.

Three days later, Forrester' s mother, who had come from California, saw a man walking near the apartment complex and asked Forrester if he was the man who had attempted to assault her, and Forrester said that he was. Id. Forrester called the police, went to the police station, and gave a written statement. Forrester then identified Williams in a photo line-up. Id.

B. Procedural Background

Following his conviction by a jury trial for home invasion and attempted criminal sexual assault in the Circuit Court of Lake County, Williams filed a timely appeal claiming: (1) the prosecution failed to prove Williams'guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court denied him due process by failing to appoint "conflict counsel" to represent him when his defense attorney claimed Williams had threatened him; (3) the trial court denied him due process by requiring him to wear leg shackles and stationing two "jail officers" "right behind him" (4) the trial court denied him due process when it improperly relied on Williams'request for different counsel in an unrelated case in 1998 to deny his request for new counsel in this case. Ex. A (Dir. App. Br.) at 12-26. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court on June 22, 2004. Ex. D.

Thereafter, Williams filed a petition for leave to appeal (PLA) to the Illinois Supreme Court, raising the same issues. Ex. E (PLA). The Illinois Supreme Court denied the PLA on October 6, 2004. Ex. F (People v. Williams, No. 98-841).

On April 14, 2005, Williams filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief in the Circuit Court of Lake County. Ex. G (Post-Conviction Pet.). On June 27, 2005 the Circuit Court of Lake County summarily dismissed the post-conviction petition as frivolous and patently without merit. Id. at 3. Williams appealed the dismissal, arguing that his post-conviction petition stated "the gist" of a meritorious claim, namely that his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel was violated when his appellate counsel failed to challenge his twenty-year sentence on direct appeal. Id. at 4. The Illinois Appellate Court confirmed the dismissal of his post-conviction petition on October 24, 2006. Ex. I (Rule 23 Order). Williams raised the same ineffective assistance claim in his PLA to the Illinois Supreme Court on November 22, 2006. Ex. J (PLA). The Supreme Court denied Williams'PLA on January 24, 2007. Ex. K.

On April 2, 2007, Williams filed his petition for writ of habeas corpus in this Court. Construing Williams'pro se petition liberally, he raises the following constitutional claims: (1) the trial court denied Williams' right to due process when it failed to appoint "conflict counsel"; (2) the trial court denied Williams' right to due process when it ordered him to wear shackles and stationed two "jail officers" behind him at trial; (3) the trial court erred in allowing an amendment to the indictment; (4) trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to challenge the racial composition of the jury and failed to effectively cross-examine the State' s witnesses at trial; and (5) the trial court failed to conduct an "adequate hearing" regarding Williams' claim of ineffective assistance of trial and failed to address defense counsel's safety concerns.

II. Standard of Review

A. Federal Habeas Relief for State ...


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