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Stallingss v. Gossett

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 14, 2015

JASMON STALLINGS, Petitioner,
v.
GREG GOSSETT, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

HERNDON, District Judge:

Petitioner, Jasmon Stallings, was convicted of first degree felony murder by a jury in St. Clair County, Illinois, in 2003. He was sentenced to thirty-five years imprisonment.

In February 2015, petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254 (Doc. 1), raising the following grounds:

1. Petitioner was improperly found guilty of felony murder predicated on armed robbery because the armed robbery charge was dismissed prior to trial.
2. The trial court erred by allowing the State to impeach a juvenile witness with prior statements.
3. Petitioner’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the robbery jury instructions, failing to object to the State’s efforts to impeach a juvenile witness, and for not disputing the admission of testimony related to petitioner’s weapon.
4. Trial counsel and postconviction counsel were ineffective for failing to investigate three additional witnesses.

This matter is now before the Court on respondent’s Motion to Dismiss Habeas Petition as Time-Barred. Doc. 20. Petitioner responded to the motion at Doc. 23.

Relevant Facts

In 2003, petitioner was found guilty of first-degree felony murder in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County and was sentenced to thirty-five years imprisonment. Doc. 1 at 20. On appeal, petitioner’s conviction was affirmed and the Illinois Supreme Court summarily denied his petition for leave to appeal (PLA) in November 2004. People v. Stallings, 876 N.E.2d 332 (Ill.App.Ct. 2004), People v. Stallings, 824 N.E.2d 290 (Ill. 2004). He did not seek a writ of certiorari from the United States Supreme Court.

In March 2005, petitioner filed a state postconviction petition with the Illinois circuit court pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/122-1, et seq. The trial court denied the petition and, in September 2008, the appellate court affirmed the dismissal. People v. Stallings, 968 N.E.2d 226 (Ill.App.Ct. 2008). Petitioner did not appeal that decision with the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Petitioner filed a motion for leave to file a successive postconviction petition on April 17, 2012. He claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to interview three witnesses at trial and he was unable to raise this claim in his initial postconviction petition. In August 2012, the circuit court denied petitioner’s motion for leave to file a new petition. Doc. 1 at 22. Stallings appealed and in August 2014, the appellate court affirmed the decision to deny leave to file his second postconviction petition. People v. Stallings, No. 5-12-0374, 2014 IL App (5th) 120374-U, at *5 (Ill.App.Ct. Aug. 4, 2014).

In September 2013, petitioner filed a second motion for leave to file a successive postconviction petition. Doc. 20, Ex. D. The trial court denied leave and petitioner appealed. That appeal remains pending. Doc. 20, Ex. D, E.

On February 8, 2015, petitioner filed his § 2254 petition with this Court and raised four separate claims. Doc. 1. This Court dismissed petitioner’s first three claims as untimely under 28 U.S.C. §2244(d)(1)(A) because his §2254 petition was filed several years after his initial round of state postconviction review. This Court also dismissed a portion of petitioner’s fourth claim and ordered ...


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