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Porfirio Gutierrez v. Keith Anglin

May 9, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber


Before the Court is Petitioner Porfirio Gutierrez's (hereinafter, "Gutierrez") Petition for Relief by Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons stated below, the petition is denied.


A. Murder of Joyce Raymond

Gutierrez is serving a 50-year sentence in the Danville Correctional Center in Illinois on a first-degree murder conviction. The evidence presented at Gutierrez's 1996 bench trial showed that on the evening of October 24, 1990, Joyce Raymond (hereinafter, "Joyce") and her then 14-year-old son Louis Raymond (hereinafter, "Louis") went to Gutierrez's apartment at 1062 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. on the North Side of Chicago, where Gutierrez discussed the possibility of Louis dealing cocaine for him. After this meeting, Louis and Joyce went to the apartment of Louis's then 13-year-old friend Antonio Alexander (hereinafter, "Antonio"), where Louis was living at the time. After Louis told Antonio about his conversation with Gutierrez, Antonio said that he wanted to go to Gutierrez's home to talk with him. Joyce, Louis, and Antonio went to Gutierrez's apartment at approximately 2:30 a.m. on October 25. They allegedly had no weapons with them, and Joyce either was carrying a bottle or can of malt liquor in a paper bag.

After being let into Gutierrez's apartment building by the security guard, Joyce, Louis, and Antonio went to the eighth floor, and Joyce knocked on Gutierrez's door. At trial, Gutierrez testified that he had fallen asleep about 11:00 p.m., and that this knocking - which he said lasted about 15 minutes and sounded like kicking on the door - woke him up. Gutierrez told them that he was busy, and that they should come back later. Antonio then knocked at the door, and again Gutierrez told them to come back later. Gutierrez testified that this knocking made him nervous, so he went to his kitchen to get a knife. When they knocked at the door a third time, Gutierrez cracked the door open, pulled Antonio into the apartment, shut his door, and began to stab Antonio. Gutierrez testified that Antonio tried to hit him. Louis testified that he heard Antonio scream "don't kill me." Antonio testified that he moved toward the bathroom in the apartment. While Gutierrez testified that he was alone in his apartment, Antonio testified that there were two men in the apartment with Gutierrez, and that one of these men helped him out of the apartment.

Once Antonio got out of the apartment, he and Louis started to run down the hall. Joyce, however, was very intoxicated, and would not leave. Both Antonio and Louis testified that Gutierrez exited his apartment brandishing a large kitchen knife, and that he wrestled Joyce to the ground and began to stab her in the stomach. Gutierrez, on the other hand, testified that Joyce - who he said he had never before seen - entered his apartment and began to swing her arms at him. He testified that he stabbed her initially in his apartment in self-defense.

Joyce was first discovered in the stairwell of the apartment building by Fernando Corona ("Corona"), a resident of the building. Corona testified that Joyce was still alive when he saw her, and that he saw Gutierrez nearby with a bloody knife in his hand. Gutierrez allegedly told Corona to call the police, as he had stabbed Joyce in self-defense after she had tried to break into his apartment. Corona testified that Gutierrez told him to let Joyce bleed to death, and that Gutierrez kicked Joyce in the stomach.

Chicago police officers John Anderson and Joe Follmer responded to a report of this stabbing. When the police arrived at 1062 W. Bryn Mawr, they discovered Joyce, apparently dead from multiple stab wounds, in the stairwell between the fifth and sixth floors of the building. The police proceeded toward the eighth floor, and saw Gutierrez, with a fork in his hand, laying down and apparently trying to hide on a platform in the stairwell. The officers apprehended Gutierrez, at which time he confessed that he stabbed Joyce. The officers placed him under arrest.

Chicago police officers Ralph Sikorski and Daniel Kowalski were called to the crime scene. Officer Sikorski testified that the blood found in and outside of Gutierrez's apartment was consistent with the testimony of Louis and Antonio. In particular, they found blood only on the bathroom floor and around the bathroom doorway in the apartment, which was where Antonio testified he retreated after being stabbed by Gutierrez. They found blood outside of the front door of the apartment, but no blood inside the door. They also found blood in the building stairwell, on the push plate of the eighth floor stairwell door, on the wall next to the elevator door, and on the eighth floor elevator buttons.

B. Gutierrez's Mental Health History

Gutierrez's habeas petition centers around his history of mental illness, and whether he was denied effective assistance of counsel due to his attorney's failure to raise his mental illness as a mitigating factor in his 1996 bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. At the trial, the judge found Gutierrez guilty of first degree murder. In Illinois, however, "A person commits the offense of second degree murder when he or she commits the offense of first degree murder . . . and . . . at the time of the killing he or she believes the circumstances to be such that, if they existed, would justify or exonerate the killing under the principles stated in Article 7 of this Code [which pertain to justifiable use of force and exoneration], but his or her belief is unreasonable." 720 ILCS 5/9-2(a)(2). Two provisions in Article 7 are relevant to this case. First, 720 ILCS 5/7-1 justifies a person to use such force "only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony." Id. at 5/7-1(a). Second, a person may use such force to defend a dwelling if "entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling." Id. at 5/7-2(a)(1).

The record from the post-conviction proceedings in October and November 2006 contains a detailed and voluminous history of Gutierrez's mental health history, and his conditions are also detailed in other locations in the record. Between 1981 and 1984, Gutierrez was hospitalized several times at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center and Menteno Mental Health Center, where he was diagnosed with brief reactive psychosis, atypical psychosis, and schizophrenia. He was again admitted at Chicago-Read in August 1988 for psychosis, and hospitalized in June and August 1990 at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenic disorder, alcohol dependence, bipolar affective disorder, and manic and severe psychotic behavior. Finally, on October 1, 1990 - a little more than three weeks prior to Joyce's murder - Gutierrez was treated at the Edgewater Uptown Community Mental Health Center. Here, he reported having auditory hallucinations, and said, "I hear grunts and yelling, I hear knocking at the ...

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