United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
States of America, Plaintiff, represented by James Michael
Kuhn, United States Attorney's Office & Rajnath P. Laud,
United States Attorney's Office, N.d. Ill..
Tralvis Edmond, Defendant, represented by Lazar Pol Raynal,
McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, Peter Beauregard Allport,
McDermott, Will & Emery LLP & Sheila M. Prendergast,
Mcdermott Will & Emery.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTHEW F. KENNELLY, District Judge.
Edmond is serving a term of imprisonment following his
conviction on drug and gun charges. He has moved under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 to set aside his conviction and sentence,
alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. One of
Edmond's claims is that his trial counsel rendered
ineffective assistance by failing to file a motion to
suppress evidence seized via the execution of a search
warrant at 736 N. Ridgeway in Chicago. The Court concluded
that an evidentiary hearing was needed on this claim. By
agreement of the parties and the Court, the hearing was
initially limited to the question of whether counsel's
failure to file a motion to suppress was objectively
unreasonable. The issue of prejudice was reserved for later
determination. The hearing took place on June 16, 2016. This
constitutes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions
20, 2015, Chicago police officers executed a warrant obtained
by officer John Frano. Frano obtained the warrant based on
information from a confidential informant. In the affidavit
that he submitted to obtain the warrant, Frano said that on
May 18, an informant told him that on an unspecified date, he
was at Edmond's residence at 736 N. Ridgeway and observed
him handling significant quantities of narcotics packaged for
sale, some of which the informant purchased. Frano further
stated in his affidavit that on May 18, he drove the
informant past 736 N. Ridgeway, and the informant pointed out
the basement apartment as the location where he had purchased
the narcotics from Edmond. When officers executed the warrant
on May 20, Edmond was not present, but his girlfriend Antonia
Penister was. The officers recovered two loaded firearms and
significant amounts of heroin and crack cocaine packaged for
distribution. Penister told the officers that she and Edmond
lived in the apartment together and that Edmond had recently
purchased the firearms after being robbed.
counsel did not file a motion to suppress the evidence seized
pursuant to the warrant. Edmond contends that trial counsel
should have moved to suppress on the ground that (perhaps
among other things) the information used to obtain the
warrant was stale. In response to Edmond's contention to
this effect in his section 2255 motion, the government argued
that counsel had a good strategic basis not to file a motion
to suppress, specifically, that to support the motion, Edmond
would have had to testify, and his testimony could have
provided leads that the government could have used at trial
to buttress its contention that he possessed the firearms and
narcotics found in the apartment. The Court rejected this
argument as speculative, and as it turns out trial counsel
did not take this point into consideration at all.
See June 16, 2016 Tr. at 54-55. Rather, counsel
determined not to file a motion based exclusively on his
belief that Edmond lacked standing to challenge the search.
Edmond argues that this counsel's decision was based on a
misunderstanding of the law.
trial counsel and Edmond testified at the hearing regarding
what Edmond told counsel about his connection with the
apartment. There are some conflicts in their testimony. For
present purposes, the Court will base its decision on trial
counsel's testimony regarding the evidence that he had
and what Edmond told him.
counsel testified that Edmond told him that Penister-who
Edmond described as his girlfriend-and their two children
lived at the apartment but that he (Edmond) did not. June 16,
2016 Tr. at 13-14. Edmond also told counsel that at the time
of the search, he and Penister were not seeing each other and
"were kind of off and on at that time, their
relationship." Id. at 14. When asked whether
Edmond told him that he would stay at the apartment three
nights a week, counsel said no, and that what Edmond said was
that during the time period in question, he and Penister
"were kind of - still on the outs, kind of, but that he
would visit the home two to three days a week" and that
he also financially supported the children. Id. at
counsel also testified that he had talked to Penister
regarding when and how often Edmond was at the apartment-and,
during this testimony, he returned to what Edmond had told
him about this:
Q: And didn't she tell you Mr. Edmond would stay there?
A: Yeah, that he would visit two days a week, two or three
days a week.
Q: And he would spend the night?
A: Some nights he spent the night. Sometimes he spent the
night, sometimes he didn't. And if I might, Mr. Edmond
said that as well; said sometimes he spent ...