United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JAMES F. HOLDERMAN, District Judge.
On May 10, 2010, petitioner William Evans ("Evans") pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Cook County to being an armed habitual criminal. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment. On April 1, 2013, Evans filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Dkt. No. 1.) The State of Illinois ("State"), on behalf of respondent Warden Keith Anglin, filed an answer to Evans's petition on June 17, 2013. (Dkt. No. 12.) On August 19, 2013, Evans filed a motion to amend his habeas petition to add two additional claims for relief. (Dkt. No. 18.) Evans also filed a reply to the State's answer on the same date. (Dkt. No. 20.) The court requested that the State file a brief in response to Evans's motion to amend by October 11, 2013, and allowed Evans until November 1, 2013 to file a reply. (Dkt. No. 21.) Evans did not file a reply. Instead, Evans filed an emergency motion requesting the court to stay his habeas proceeding or dismiss it without prejudice because he discovered that he had not, in fact, exhausted his administrative remedies. (Dkt. No. 23 at 1.) On February 6, 2014, however, Evans filed another emergency motion requesting the court to rule on the "exhaustion/default issue." (Dkt. No. 25 at 1.) The court thus considers Evans's § 2254 petition ripe for ruling. For the reasons explained below, Evans's motion to amend his § 2254 petition (Dkt. No. 18) is granted. The court has considered Evans's amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus ("Amended Petition") (Dkt. No. 19 ("Am. Pet.")). It is denied.
The following factual summary was set forth by the Appellate Court of Illinois for the First Judicial Circuit ("Illinois Appellate Court") in Evans's direct appeal:
The record shows that [Evans] was charged with 10 offenses, including, inter alia, armed habitual criminal for possession of a firearm on February 26, 2007, after having been convicted of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in two separate cases. While these charges were pending, [Evans] filed numerous pro se motions, including motions to proceed pro se, or, in the alternative, appointment of new counsel.
[Evans] was allowed to proceed pro se in January 2008, and when counsel was reappointed to represent him in February 2008, [Evans] adamantly opposed the reappointment, and continued to file pro se motions in the trial court, including motions to proceed pro se.
In July 2009, following a behavioral clinical examination, [Evans] was again allowed to represent himself, but counsel was later reappointed on October 8, 2009. [Evans] subsequently filed a request in this court to file a late notice of appeal from the reappointment order which this court denied. People v. Evans, No. 1-09-3480 (2010) (dispositional order). [Evans] then continued to file pro se motions in the trial court, including motions to compel disclosure of allegedly exculpatory evidence or dismissal and for substitution of judge, which were all denied.
When the plea proceeding commenced on May 10, 2010, [Evans] again indicated that he wanted to proceed pro se. The matter was passed, and when it was recalled, [Evans] indicated that he was being represented by counsel. He subsequently entered a negotiated plea of guilty to armed habitual criminal after the court admonished him in accordance with [Illinois] Supreme Court Rule 402 (eff. July 1, 1997), and he indicated his understanding of the admonishments, and the State presented a factual basis to which he stipulated. The trial court then found [Evans] guilty of armed habitual criminal and sentenced him to the agreed term of six years' imprisonment.
On June 1, 2010, [Evans] filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea alleging that the State failed to disclose exculpatory electronic video surveillance. [Evans] further alleged that police withheld and then destroyed electronic video surveillance recordings from its pod video cameras, and failed to insure and guarantee that all relevant information was preserved and provided so that discovery could be completed. He also claimed that the trial court denied him the right to self-representation, and requested access to all the recorded proceedings from the pro se pretrial motions for substitution of judge and to compel disclosure or dismissal, including all documents and exhibits attached to those motions.
On September 30, 2010, [Evans] filed a pro se motion for a hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty plea; and, on November 15, 2010, he filed a pro se motion to proceed pro se, and to receive and review the entire record. In this motion, [Evans] also alleged that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.
On November 22, 2010, the trial court denied [Evans]'s request for the entire record, noting that he did not need the entire record to vacate his guilty plea. The court further noted that [Evans] could receive the transcript from the plea proceeding and sentencing, and that it would allow him to proceed pro se on his motion to withdraw the guilty plea. [Evans], acting pro se, repeated his request for copies of his pretrial pro se motions to withdraw, substitution of judge, and to compel disclosure or dismissal which he claimed had exhibits attached to them in which police admitted to destroying exculpatory evidence. The court again denied [Evans's] request noting that these motions had no bearing on his motion to withdraw the guilty plea.
On January 7, 2011, a hearing was held on [Evans's] motion to withdraw his guilty plea where the State argued that [Evans's] allegations did not form a basis for withdrawing a guilty plea but, rather, were more appropriate for post-conviction proceedings. The court subsequently denied the motion observing that the record showed that [Evans] pleaded guilty after receiving full and complete admonishments from the court which he indicated that he understood.
Evans, 2013 IL App (1st) 110587-U, ¶¶ 3-9 (Ill.App.Ct. 1st Dist. Jan. 17, 2013) (filed in this ...