United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
McCoy, who is serving consecutive ten- and fifteen-year terms
in Illinois state prison for attempted first degree murder
and aggravated battery with a firearm, petitions for a writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Doc. 1. McCoy
seeks habeas relief on the grounds that the trial court
unconstitutionally coerced the verdict by informing the jury
that it could be sequestered, and that his trial and
post-conviction attorneys were constitutionally ineffective
for stipulating to certain facts and for failing to obtain a
medical expert who could have cast a different light on those
facts. McCoy's petition is denied, and the court will not
issue a certificate of appealability.
federal habeas court presumes that the state courts'
factual findings are correct unless they are rebutted by
clear and convincing evidence. See 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1); Jean-Paul v. Douma, 809 F.3d 354, 360
(7th Cir. 2015) (“A state court's factual finding
is unreasonable only if it ignores the clear and convincing
weight of the evidence.”) (internal quotation marks
omitted); 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). The Appellate Court of
Illinois is the last state court to have adjudicated
McCoy's case on the merits. People v. McCoy,
2014 IL App (1st) 123279-U ( Ill. App. Oct. 30, 2014)
(reproduced at Doc. 18-7); People v. McCoy, 939
N.E.2d 950 ( Ill. App. 2010). The following sets forth the
facts as that court described them, as well as the procedural
background of the state criminal and post-conviction
Factual Background and Trial
shot Ernest Anderson and Curtis Chatman and was charged with
two counts of attempted first-degree murder, 720 ILCS 5/8-4,
9-1(a)(1), and two counts of aggravated battery with a
firearm, 720 ILCS 5/12-4.2(a)(1). 939 N.E.2d at 951. The
testimony at McCoy's trial presented conflicting accounts
of the events preceding the shootings. Ibid. The
prosecutor submitted that McCoy saw Anderson, called his
name, and then, unprovoked, shot both him and Chatman, who
was standing nearby. Ibid. McCoy submitted that he
shot the two men in self-defense after Anderson, against whom
McCoy's sister had testified in a murder trial eight
years earlier, brandished a weapon. Ibid.
undisputed that McCoy shot the two men, ibid., and
the parties stipulated to a description of Anderson's and
Chatman's wounds by Don Fishman, the emergency room
physician who treated them. Doc. 18-16; Doc. 18-5 at
¶¶ 16-18. The stipulations stated that Anderson
suffered “a through and through gunshot wound to his
right shoulder, ” with one wound “present in the
back upper right shoulder area” and a second “in
[the] front upper right shoulder area.” Doc. 18-16 at
¶¶ 4-5. The actual stipulations regarding Chatman
are not in the record, but McCoy's post-conviction
counsel's statement of facts reports that the
stipulations referenced two wounds, one “in the back of
Chatman's head between the base of [the] skull and [the]
lower neck, ” and the second “in the back of his
head beneath the left ear.” Doc. 18-5 at ¶ 17.
hearing closing arguments and the court's instructions,
the jury began deliberations at approximately 1:00 p.m. on
September 27, 2007. 939 N.E.2d at 952. That afternoon, the
jury sent two notes to the court, one asking for the
“legal definition of intent to kill an individual,
” and the other for transcripts of McCoy's,
Anderson's, and Chatman's testimony. Ibid.
The court and the parties formulated a response to the first
request and sent it to the jury, and then sent the
transcripts to the jury. Ibid. At approximately 8:00
p.m., the court called the jury into the courtroom, leading
to the following colloquy:
THE COURT: Let the record reflect we are in open court with
the 12 jurors, defense attorney, the State's Attorney,
and [defendant]. The time is now about 8:00 o'clock
[sic]. Ms. Dohl, are you the foreperson?
FOREPERSON DOHL: Here.
THE COURT: The jury is still deliberating on their verdict?
FOREPERSON DOHL: Yes.
THE COURT: It's 8:00 o'clock [sic] now.
You've been deliberating for about seven hours. What
I'm going to do is I'm going to call it quits for the
night. So what we're going to do is my sheriffs have made
arrangements, we're going to take you to a hotel and
you'll be able to spend the night in the hotel and you
will come back and deliberate in the morning.
[FOREPERSON] DOHL: Can you give us another half hour?
JURORS: We're close.
A JUROR: If we're not able to leave to go home, I have no
way to contact a number of folks I need to contact before the
THE COURT: All right. What I'm going to do, I'm going
to bring you back in the jury room for a second. I'll
bring you back out in about two ...