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Jonathan Judkins v. Marcus Hardy

May 17, 2013

JONATHAN JUDKINS, PETITIONER,
v.
MARCUS HARDY, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Feinerman

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Petitioner Jonathan Judkins, a state inmate serving two consecutive life sentences, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Doc. 1. The petition challenges convictions entered in two separate criminal cases, People v. Judkins, 92 CR 4451 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cnty., Ill.) ("Case No. 4451"), and People v. Judkins, 92 CR 4453 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cnty., Ill.) ("Case No. 4453"), that arose from the same traffic stop and arrest. Judkins was convicted in Case No. 4451 of the first degree murder of Ronnie Mays, and in Case No. 4453 of armed robbery, aggravated kidnaping, and the first degree murder of James Lamont Ford. Judkins seeks habeas relief on two grounds: (1) his counsel on direct appeal was ineffective for failing to appeal the denial of his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence; and (2) his detention and arrest violated the Fourth Amendment and the fruits of that arrest should have been suppressed. The habeas petition is denied, and a certificate of appealability is denied as well.

Background

A federal habeas court presumes correct the factual findings made by the last state court to adjudicate the case on the merits, unless those findings are rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Coleman v. Hardy, 690 F.3d 811, 815 (7th Cir. 2012) ("We give great deference to state court factual findings. After AEDPA, we are required to presume a state court's account of the facts correct, and the petitioner has the burden of rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence.") (internal quotation marks omitted); Rever v. Acevedo, 590 F.3d 533, 537 (7th Cir. 2010); Ward v. Sternes, 334 F.3d 696, 704 (7th Cir. 2003). The Appellate Court of Illinois is the last state court to have adjudicated Judkins's criminal cases on the merits. See People v. Judkins, No. 1-07-3453 (Ill. App. Mar. 28, 2011) (Doc. 21-23 at 129-139); People v. Judkins, No. 1-98-412 (Ill. App. Jan. 21, 2000) (Doc. 21-23 at 1-2); People v. Judkins, No. 1-97-1384 (Ill. App. Oct. 17, 1997) (Doc. 21-10 at 42-43); People v. Judkins, No. 1-94-3868 (Ill. App. July 26, 1996) (Doc. 21-10 at 34-41). The appellate court's findings have not been shown by clear and convincing evidence to be incorrect. The following sets forth the facts as found by the state appellate court as well as the history of Judkins's criminal proceedings.

A. Case No. 4453

On January 11, 1992, Judkins and Eric Taylor drove in a brown car to where James Ford, the murder victim, was speaking with Kimberly Thigpen about the new gym shoes that Fordwas wearing. Doc. 21-10 at 36. Taylor jumped out of the car, stood directly in front of Thigpen, and pulled a shotgun out of his coat. Ibid. Judkins urged Taylor to hurry, and Taylor walked over to Ford, said, "Man, I have to talk about something," and then told him to "come on." Ibid. Taylor led Ford to the car, pushed him into the back seat, and then entered the car himself, after which Judkins drove the car away. Ibid. Several individuals reported seeing Judkins and Taylor in the vicinity that evening. Id. at 34-36.

Fred Jackson, who lived a few miles away, heard a shotgun discharge later that day. Id. at 37. Jackson looked outside and saw a car and someone picking something off the ground and throwing it into the car before getting in the car and driving away. Ibid. Jackson then went outside and saw a naked body, later identified as Ford's. Ibid. The medical examiner concluded that Ford had died of a gunshot wound to the head. Ibid. A wadding from a shotgun shell was found near the body. Ibid.

Nearly three weeks later, on January 29, 1992, Judkins and Taylor were arrested. Ibid. Judkins was wearing Ford's gym shoes and jacket. Ibid. The police recovered from a car near the arrest scene a shotgun with blood on the barrel. Ibid. Taylor later admitted the gun was his. Ibid. A firearms expert testified that the pellets recovered from Ford's head could have been fired from that gun. Ibid.

Judkins moved to quash his arrest and to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the arrest, and the trial court denied that motion, Doc. 21-10 at 3-5; Doc. 21-12 at 2-62; the motion is discussed separately below. On August 9, 1994, the jury found Judkins guilty of the first degree murder of Ford, armed robbery, and aggravated kidnaping. Doc. 21-8 at 90-93. Judkins was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, thirty years for the armed robbery, and fifteen years for the kidnaping, with the armed robbery and kidnaping sentences running concurrently to each other but consecutively to the murder sentence. Id. at 114.

Judkins appealed his convictions and sentences, but his appellate counsel did not challenge the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. Doc. 21-10 at 12-17. The Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the trial court's judgment. People v. Judkins, No. 1-94-3868 (Ill. App. July 26, 1996) (Doc. 20-10 at 34-41). Judkins did not file a petition for leave to appeal ("PLA") with the Supreme Court of Illinois. Doc. 1 at 2.

On January 23, 1997, Judkins filed a post-conviction petition in the state trial court. Doc. 21-10 at 50. The trial court dismissed the petition and, on October 17, 1997, the Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the dismissal. People v. Judkins, No. 1-97-1384 (Ill. App. Oct. 17, 1997) (Doc. 20-10 at 42-43). Judkins did not file a PLA with the Supreme Court of Illinois.

On September 24, 2003, Judkins filed a successive post-conviction petition. Doc. 21-10 at 52. The petition argued, among other things, that Judkins's counsel on direct appeal was ineffective for failing to challenge the trial court's denial of Judkins's motion to suppress. Doc. 21-9 at 99-118. That petition was consolidated with a post-conviction petition Judkins had filed in Case No. 4451. Doc. 21-23 at 129-31. The state trial court dismissed the petitions in both cases. Id. at 132. On March 28, 2011, the Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the dismissal. People v. Judkins, No. 1-07-3453 (Ill. App. Mar. 28, 2011) (Doc. 21-23 at 129-139). Judkins filed a PLA, which the Supreme Court of Illinois denied on September 28, 2011. People v. Judkins, 955 N.E.2d 476 (Ill. 2011). The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on March 26, 2012. Judkins v. Illinois, 132 S. Ct. 1798 (2012).

B. Facts and Procedural History for Case No. 4451

The Appellate Court of Illinois summarized the facts underlying this conviction as follows:

Less than three weeks after the fatal shooting of Ford [in Case No. 4453], defendant was involved in another murder. In [Case No. 4451], defendant, in 1997, was tried jointly with co-defendant Taylor for the January 29, 1992 fatal shooting of Ronnie Mays. The State's evidence established that defendant and Taylor accosted the victim while he was in the front passenger seat of a car parked in an alley. Defendant and Taylor displayed shotguns. The driver of the car fled while defendant and Taylor fired gunshots into the car. Defendant, Taylor, and a third man then left the alley in a Buick. Shortly thereafter, Taylor returned on foot and drove the car containing Mays's body to another location. About one hour later, defendant, Taylor, and a third man were arrested after a traffic stop. Defendant was later identified as one of the offenders during police lineups.

Doc. 21-23 at 131. Judkins filed a pretrial motion to quash his arrest (the same arrest at issue in Case No. 4453) and to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the arrest, and the trial court denied the motion. Doc. 21-12 at 62 (noting that the motion was denied as to Case No. 4453 and Case No. 4451). On October 21, 1997, a jury found Judkins guilty of the first degree murder of Mays. Doc. 21-18 at 140. Judkins was sentenced to life ...


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