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United States of America Ex Rel. Gary Henry v. Lee Ryker

January 6, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. GARY HENRY, PETITIONER,
v.
LEE RYKER, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Ronald A. Guzman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Gary Henry has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 to vacate his convictions for murder and armed robbery. For the reasons provided in this Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court denies the petition.

Facts

In October 1990, Henry was arrested for the murder of Juan Magallenes and the armed robbery of Magallenes and his girlfriend Irma Gutierrez. (Gov't Ex. A, People v. Henry, No. 1-93-2506, slip op. at 2 (Ill. App. Ct. Aug. 22, 1995).) From that time, until he ran out of money in July 1991, Henry was represented by private counsel. (Id.)

Thereafter, Henry requested that an assistant public defender ("PD") be appointed to represent him. (Id. 3.) The PD's office, which was already representing Henry's co-defendants Willie Reaves, Christopher Askew and D'Nardo Mack, said it could not represent Henry because of the potential for conflicts of interest. (Id. 4.) Accordingly, the court appointed private counsel to represent him. (Id.)

On September 23, 1992, private counsel moved to withdraw, citing a "breakdown of the attorney-client relationship." (See Gov't Ex. J, 9/23/92 Hr'g Tr. 3.) Thereafter, at Henry's request, the court appointed a PD to represent him. (Id. 4.)

A week later, Henry asked that another private attorney be appointed to represent him. (See Gov't Ex. K, 10/6/92 Hr'g Tr. 3.) The court denied the request and told Henry his options were to:

(1) keep the PD that the court had appointed; (2) hire his own lawyer; or (3) represent himself. (Id. 4-5.) Henry chose the first option. (Id. 9.)

At a hearing in March 1993, Henry asked the trial judge to recuse himself, saying:

[O]ver the past 2 years you have developed a personal attitude [sic] bias toward me in this case. Your judgment is no longer neutral and untainted as it should be. Your [sic] subconscious there is psychological prejudice against me. . . . All your actions, decisions show your biased rulings. . . . .

I do believe that you are an agent of the State, working with the State, the police, both the State witnesses and my Counsel to obtain conviction of me by any means necessary regardless of my innocence. (See Gov't Ex. M, 3/31/93 Hr'g Tr. 3, 5.) The court denied the motion. (Id. 8.)

In April 1993, Henry again objected to being represented by the PD. (See Gov't Ex. N, 4/8/93 Hr'g Tr. 3.) The court again told him that his only other choices were to hire his own lawyer or represent himself. (Id. 4.)

On May 5, 1993, Henry's PD, Marc Blesoff, told the court that Henry had filed a complaint against him with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ("ARDC"). (Gov't Ex. P, 5/5/93 Hr'g Tr. 3.) Given the potential conflict the filing created, the PD asked for leave to withdraw. (Gov't Ex. Q, 5/17/93 Hr'g Tr. 3-5.) The judge denied the motion, and Henry agreed to the PD's representation. (Id.)

Subsequently, Henry was tried and convicted of first degree murder and armed robbery. (Gov't Ex. A, People v. Henry, No. 1-93-2506, slip op. at 1 (Ill. App. Ct. Aug. 22, 1995).) Thereafter, he filed a pro se motion for a new ...


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