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Robert D. Fletcher v. Dave Rednour

February 7, 2011

ROBERT D. FLETCHER, PETITIONER,
v.
DAVE REDNOUR, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Pending before the Court is Petitioner Robert T. Fletcher's ("Fletcher") Motion for Stay and Abeyance (Doc. 32). Respondent Dave Rednour filed a Response (Doc. 34) and Fletcher filed a Reply (Doc. 39). For the reasons stated below, the Motion for Stay and Abeyance is DENIED.

Procedural History

On January 21, 2000, a jury in the Circuit Court of Madison County convicted Fletcher of first degree murder (Doc. 31). Fletcher was sentenced to 80 years of imprisonment on February 23, 2000. Id. On direct appeal to the Illinois Court of Appeals, Fletcher argued that: (1) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress oral statements made during an interview by investigators; (2) trial counsel was ineffective because he did not allow petitioner to testify at trial as to his version of the facts; (3) trial counsel was ineffective because he admitted to the jury that petitioner had shot the victim; and (4) the trial court erred when it failed to make an inquiry as to the effectiveness of trial counsel and failed to appoint new counsel on petitioner's post-trial motion. Id. On December 21, 2001, the Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed Fletcher's conviction but vacated the sentence and remanded the case back to the circuit court. Id. On April 25, 2002, the circuit court sentenced Fletcher to 60 years of imprisonment. Id.

Fletcher filed a second direct appeal on February 3, 2003 arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him to 60 years in prison because it failed to consider his lack of significant criminal history and provocation for the offense (Doc. 31). The Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed Fletcher's sentence on December 3, 2003. Id.

On September 20, 2004, Fletcher filed a pro se post-conviction petition in the Circuit Court of Madison County contending: (1) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to argue Fletcher's statements to investigators were obtained in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel; (2) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to argue that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to assert that the State knowingly used perjured testimony; and (3) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to argue that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to assert that the State withheld evidence in violation of Brady

v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) (Doc. 31).

On September 22, 2004, the Circuit Court of Madison County summarily dismissed the

post-conviction petition (Doc. 31). Fletcher appealed this decision, and the appeal was denied. Id.

On April 8, 2008, Fletcher, proceeding pro se, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief in this Court alleging: (1) ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to investigate his claims of innocence; (2) the State failed to correct the false testimony of a State witness; (3) the State failed to disclose material exculpatory evidence; (4) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to brief and argue that his sixth amendment right to counsel was violated; (5) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to brief and argue that the State failed to both correct the false testimony of a State witness and disclose material exculpatory evidence;

(6) ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failure to brief and argue his claim for ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (7) the State failed to disclose that a State witness was being offered favorable treatment in return for his testimony against Fletcher; (8) the State failed to disclose material exculpatory evidence regarding conflicting information about the date of Nekemar Pearson's death; (9) the State improperly interfered with witness testimony; (10) the State relied on inconsistent theories of prosecution in two separate prosecutions for the same murder; and (11) a conflict of interest existed where Fletcher's attorney acted as the attorney for both Fletcher and a co-defendant during trial (Doc. 1).

On October 29, 2008, Fletcher, proceeding pro se, requested leave to file a successive petition for post-conviction relief pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/122-2(f) arguing: (1) counsel on direct appeal was ineffective for failing to argue that he was denied his right to a speedy trial; (2) the State failed to disclose that a State witness was being offered favorable treatment in return for his testimony against Fletcher; (3) the State failed to disclose favorable evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); (4) the State failed to disclose that a witness was offered a choice between testifying or being charged with the murder; (5) the State relied on inconsistent theories of prosecution in two separate prosecutions for the same murder; and (6) a conflict of interest existed where Fletcher's attorney acted as the attorney for both Fletcher and a co-defendant during trial. Id.

On November 25, 2008, the Circuit Court of Madison County denied the petition, finding that Fletcher failed to demonstrate sufficient cause and prejudice that would require consideration of a successive petition on the merits (Doc. 39). Fletcher appealed the decision, and that appeal is now pending before the Illinois Court of Appeals. Id.

On November 12, 2010, Fletcher, represented by counsel, filed an amended petition for habeas corpus relief in this Court (Doc. 31). The amended petition asserts five exhausted claims, as well as six unexhausted claims. Id. Fletcher alleges: (1) ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to investigate his claims of innocence; (2) the trial court erred in not ...


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