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Wilfredo Sanchez v. Marcus Hardy

February 27, 2012

WILFREDO SANCHEZ, PETITIONER,
v.
MARCUS HARDY, WARDEN, SUPERINTENDENT, OR AUTHORIZED PERSON HAVING CUSTODY OF PETITIONER, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marvin E. Aspen, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Petitioner Wilfredo Sanchez, a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center, where Respondent Marcus Hardy is Warden, now petitions for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. For the reasons set forth below, we deny the petition.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

I. Summary

In January of 2004, Wilfredo Sanchez and co-defendant, Jesus Parra, were charged in the Circuit Court of Cook County with one count of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Christian Simpson and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm for the shootings of Ricky Simpson and Marques Chaplin. (Resp. Ex. A, Rule 23 Order, People v. Sanchez, No. 1-05-2306 at 1 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2007).) Sanchez was tried simultaneously with Parra but with separate juries. (Id. at 2.) After an April 2005 trial, the jury found Sanchez guilty on all counts.

(Id.) The state trial court sentenced him to thirty-five years for first-degree murder, ten years consecutive for one count of aggravated battery, and six years consecutive for the second count of aggravated battery. (Id. at 1, 9.) The facts underlying Sanchez's conviction are as follows.*fn1

II. Sanchez's Conviction

On the night of September 27, 2003, Ricky Simpson, Christian Simpson, and Marques Chaplin were driving to a party in a white Dodge Neon. (Id. at 2.) They got lost and stopped at the intersection of Kensington and Michigan to determine where to go. (Id.) As they were stopped, a white four-door car pulled up on the left side of Chaplin's vehicle. (Id. at 2--3.) From that car, a shooter fired at Chaplin's face. Chaplin slumped down, but both he and Ricky heard five additional shots fired into the car. (Id. at 3.) Chaplin was able to drive to Roseland Hospital where he was treated for a shot to the face and hands, Ricky Simpson was treated with twenty-five stitches for a shot to the leg, and Christian Simpson died from his wounds. (Id.) In a subsequent lineup, Chaplin identified Parra as the shooter, but neither Chaplin nor Ricky identified Sanchez. (Id.)

a. Statement and Grand Jury Testimony of Daisy Lopez Detective Richard Peck was assigned to investigate the homicide of Christian Simpson.

He spoke with Daisy Lopez, the girlfriend of Parra, but did not receive any concrete leads. (Id. at 4.) He then spoke with Dwayne Anderson, a member of the Latin Kings gang. (Id. at 4, 14.) As a result of that conversation, he went to speak with Lopez again. (Id. at 4.) Although initially reluctant to change her story, Lopez stated that on the night of the shooting, Parra and Sanchez came into the house, grabbed a shotgun, and went outside. (Id. at 5, 7.) Shortly after they left, Lopez heard several gunshots near her apartment. (Id. at 5, 7.)

Detective Peck then called the felony review unit of the State's Attorney's office. (Id. at 5.) Assistant State's Attorney Andreana Turano-Michiels arrived and spoke with Lopez individually. (Id.) According to ASA Turano-Michiels, Lopez spoke with her willingly and did not suggest that the police threatened or mistreated her during their questioning. (Id. at 6.) After this one-on-one conversation, Lopez agreed to give a written statement prepared by ASA Turano-Michiels. (Id. at 6.) With Detective Peck present, ASA Turano-Michiels took Lopez's statement, and Lopez read and signed each page. (Id. at 5, 7.) At the end of the statement, Lopez agreed that she gave the statement freely and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. (Id. at 8.) Detective Peck and Detective Parks both testified that they did not threaten Lopez with potential prison time or losing custody of her children during this process. (Id. at 5--6.)

In the written statement, Lopez said that she saw Parra and Sanchez come into the house where Parra retrieved his shotgun. (Id. at 7.) Then, from her living room window, Lopez saw Sanchez get into the driver's seat of his white four-door car while Parra got into the passenger seat. (Id.) She watched the car drive on Kensington in the direction of Michigan, and less than five minutes later, she heard several gunshots near her apartment from that direction. (Id. at 5, 7.) A few minutes after the shots, Sanchez and Parra came back to the apartment. (Id.) Sanchez left in his car while Parra put away his shotgun and washed his hands with bleach. (Id. at 7--8.) Later that evening, Parra's mother came to the apartment and took the shotgun. (Id. at 8.) Finally, the statement recounted a conversation Lopez had with Parra in which he discussed shooting at the Neon car. (Resp. Ex. K, Rule 23 Order, People v. Sanchez, No. 1-08-3413 at 6 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2010).)

On December 22, 2003, Lopez testified in front of the grand jury to essentially the same facts in her statement. (Resp. Ex. A, Rule 23 Order, People v. Sanchez, No. 1-05-2306 at 8 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2007).) She added that while Parra was a member of the Latin Kings, Sanchez was a "neutron," a person not affiliated with any gang. (Id.) Lopez agreed that she gave the written statement, was not threatened by the police, and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of her statement or testimony. (Id. at 9.)

b. Trial Testimony of Daisy Lopez

At the trial of Parra and Sanchez, Lopez testified that both Parra and Sanchez never left the apartment on the night of the shooting. (Id. at 3.) She said she did not see Sanchez drive his car that night and denied seeing Parra wash his hands with bleach. (Id. at 4.) In addition, she stated that she did not hear any shots fired that night nor did Parra's mother come to the apartment to retrieve the shotgun. (Id.) Finally, she denied knowing that Parra was a member of the Latin Kings but did agree that Sanchez was not a member of any gang. (Id. at 3--4.)

When Lopez was impeached with her statement to ASA Turano-Michiels, she stated that the ASA asked questions, but she did not answer. (Id. at 4.) She admitted signing the statement but only because she was told to do so by the police and the ASA. (Id.) When Lopez was impeached with her grand jury testimony, she testified that she did not remember any of the testimony because she was high on marijuana when she testified. (Id.)

After the state's direct examination of Lopez, Sanchez's jury was excused while Parra's attorney cross-examined Lopez regarding her testimony and previous statements. (Id. at 11.)

During this cross-examination, Lopez testified that the police forced her to go to the station with them, Detectives Peck and Parks threatened to take away her children if she did not cooperate, and Detective Parks threatened her with thirty years in prison. (Id.) However, when Sanchez's jury returned and his attorney cross-examined Lopez, the attorney did not ask about any threats made by Detectives Peck and Parks. (Id.) He did ask Lopez about the night of the shooting, and she affirmed that she never saw Sanchez leave the apartment, wash his hands with bleach, or vomit in the bathroom. (Id.) Furthermore, she stated that she never saw Sanchez with a gun or ammunition and confirmed he was not in a gang. (Id.)

c. Trial Testimony of Dwayne Anderson

In front of Parra's jury only, Anderson testified that he knew Sanchez was not a gang member. (Id. at 14--15.) Afterward, Sanchez's attorney called Anderson to the stand for the purpose of eliciting testimony that Sanchez was not involved in a gang. (Id. at 15.) The State agreed to stipulate that Sanchez was not a member of a gang, but ...


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