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Kirkpatrick v. Lambert

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

October 2, 2013

Ryan Charles Kirkpatrick, Petitioner,
v.
Gregory Lambert, Respondent.

ORDER

FREDERICK J. KAPALA, District Judge.

The clerk is ordered to substitute Randy Pfister as the named respondent. Petition for habeas corpus [1] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is denied. Certificate of appealability is denied. This case is closed.

STATEMENT

Petitioner, Ryan Charles Kirkpatrick, is currently in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections, housed at Pontiac Correctional Center, where respondent, Randy Pfister, [1] is the acting warden. Before the court is Kirkpatrick's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging the constitutionality of his confinement. For the reasons that follow, the petition is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Kirkpatrick was tried and convicted following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of McHenry County, Illinois of two counts of threatening a public official. The following facts are drawn from the Illinois Appellate Court's opinion in petitioner's direct appeal, People v. Kirkpatrick, No. 2-07-0323, slip op. at 1-6 (Ill.App.Ct. Apr. 29, 2008), which this court presumes are correct. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1) (providing that state court factual findings are presumed correct during federal habeas review unless petitioner rebuts them with clear and convincing evidence).

In 2006, [Kirkpatrick] was indicted on two counts of threatening a public official in connection with letters sent to Maureen P. McIntyre, a McHenry County judge. The first letter, referred to in count one of the indictment, was unsigned, but sent in an envelope bearing defendant's first and last name. Enclosed in this mailing was another letter, also bearing defendant's name. This letter requested both correspondences be delivered to McIntyre as well as to two other judges. The first letter was dated November 21, 2004. It had two swastikas drawn on it. The letter stated:
"Dear Judge Maureen P. McIntyre. So you really thought the system was going to press charges against me. It's only a matter of time before I bust out of prison. Since you decided to go to the police I'm going to kill you. You are such a [illegible] bitch. I'm going to make sure that you die a slow painful death. I don't care who you take this letter to. Are [sic] even if you send this to the prison officials because there's nothing you are [sic] the system can do to me."
The second letter, referred to in count two of the indictment, was dated May 30, 2005. It was sent in an envelope bearing a return address for Joseph Morey, an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The letter inside, however, was signed by [petitioner]. The letter requested that the materials in the envelope be delivered to both McIntyre and another judge. The second letter stated:
"You probably though [sic] that I forgot about you. Well I didn't. You actully [sic] though [sic] I was gonna get proscated [sic] for those letters. Well I'm gonna have you killed. If you don't help me get out of prison I'm gonna have you shot three times. I don't care what proscuter [sic] you take this too [sic] aint nobody gonna proscute [sic] me.
Before trial, the State filed a notice of intent to introduce evidence of other offenses or conduct. The evidence the State sought to introduce included the following:
(1) a letter signed by "Ryan Kirkpatrick, " dated May 30, 2005, and addressed to "Judge Ward Aronld [sic], " stating that, if Arnold did not help defendant get out of prison, defendant would kill him. The letter further stated, "I don't care what proscater [sic] you take this to ain't nobody gonna proscute [sic] me." This letter was sent in the same envelope as the May 30, 2005, letter to McIntyre.
(2) an unsigned letter addressed to Judge Sharon Prather, threatening to kill her "when I bust out of prison" and stating, "I don't care if you take this letter to anybody cause [sic] there's nothing you are [sic] the system can do to me." This letter had a swastika drawn on it and was sent in the same envelope as the November 21, 2004, letter to McIntyre.
(3) an unsigned letter dated November 21, 2004, addressed to "Judge Ward Aronld [sic], " threatening to kill him and stating, "I don't care who you take this letter to because there's nothing you are [sic] the system can do to me." This letter also had a swastika drawn on it and was sent in the same envelope as the November 21, 2004, letter to McIntyre.
(4) a letter dated November 21, 2004, sent to Judge Mary Schostok, and signed by "Ryan Kirkpatrick, " stating that he wanted pending charges against him dropped. The letter threatened to kill Judge Schostok and her daughters if she did not comply. The letter also stated, "I don't care who you take this letter to cause there's nothing you are [sic] the system can do to me."
(5) two affidavits sent from the Lake County jail on July 31, 2003, in an envelope from "Ryan Kirkpatrick, " stating that, in January 2004, Prather, Arnold, and McIntyre would be killed unless certain demands were met.
(6) two affidavits, written on November 13, 2003, and signed by "Ryan Kirkpatrick, " stating that, if not freed from jail by a pardon, defendant would blow up the McHenry County courthouse and kill two judges, "one with the first name of Walter and the other with the first name of Maureen." The affidavit ...

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