Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brown v. Williams

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 21, 2016

ANTHONY BROWN K51274, Petitioner,


          John Robert Blakey United States District Judge

         Petitioner Anthony Brown, a prisoner at the Stateville Correctional Center, brings this pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his 1996 state court convictions for murder, armed robbery, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and vehicular hijacking. For the reasons explained below, the Court denies the petition and declines to issue a certificate of appealability.

         I. Background

         The following is taken from the state court record. The state court's factual findings are presumed correct, and Petitioner has the burden of rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence. Brumfield v. Cain, 135 S.Ct. 2269, 2282 n.8 (2015) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1)).

         A. The Underlying Offense

         Petitioner was part of a group of five men who committed a double murder and carjacking on Chicago's Southside late on the evening of January 12, 1994. Illinois v. Brown, 705 N.E.2d 809, 812 (Ill. 1998) (“Brown Direct Appeal”). The men were armed with a nine-millimeter handgun. Id. The victims, Reginald Wilson and Felicia Lewis, stopped Wilson's Chevrolet Blazer at a gas station at 79th Avenue and the Dan Ryan highway to use a bathroom. Id. at 811. With Wilson and Lewis was Steven Fitch, a friend. Id. Wilson and Lewis were in the Blazer when the carjacking occurred. Id. Fitch was walking back from the bathroom when he witnessed the carjacking in progress. Id. He fled after unsuccessfully attempting to confront one of the carjackers. Id. He called the police from a nearby pay phone. Id.

         Petitioner was nearby, in his Chevrolet Caprice, when the carjacking occurred. Id. at 812. He drove the group to the carjacking. Id. Three of the assailants left Petitioner's Caprice to commit the carjacking while Petitioner and another offender waited in the Caprice. Id. The men picked the Blazer to carjack because they noticed the truck's wheel rims. Id.

         The assailants drove the carjacked Blazer, along with Petitioner's Caprice, to a parking lot a few miles away at 47th and Vincennes. Id. Petitioner repeatedly raped Lewis in the back of his Caprice in the parking lot. Id. Petitioner forced Lewis to engage in both oral sex and vaginal intercourse. Id. at 812-13. Lewis told Petitioner that she was wearing a sanitary pad because she had given birth a few months earlier, and was also having her period. Id. at 813. Petitioner instructed Lewis to put her jacket on his car's backseat when he raped her. Id.

         Petitioner returned Lewis to the Blazer and directed two of his cohorts to watch the victims in the Blazer while he and two of the other carjackers scouted a location to murder the victims. Id. After Petitioner left in his Caprice with the two other assailants, the two remaining carjackers opted instead to take the victims to a nearby garbage dumpster, where they shot Wilson twice in the head and shot Lewis twice in the side, killing both of them. Id.

         Petitioner returned to find the victims murdered. Id. The group then went to an apartment where they divided the proceeds from the carjacking. Id. The group split cash, compact discs, cassette tapes, a CD player, and a car speaker system. Id.

         A local resident found the victims' bodies in the dumpster the next day and contacted the police. Id. at 814. Police investigators discovered nine-millimeter cartridges in the dumpster by the victims. Id. Lewis's hands were tied with a bra. Id. The investigators also recovered Lewis's sanitary pad. Id. at 815.

         That same day, the assailants drove the Blazer and the Caprice to Sauk Village, Illinois, where the Blazer was spotted by police. Id. at 813. The police stopped the Blazer and arrested two of the assailants, but Petitioner escaped in the Caprice back to Chicago. Id. Petitioner was arrested later that day by the Chicago police. Id. Fitch identified one of the assailants (not Petitioner) in a lineup at the police station. Id. at 812.

         Petitioner had approximately $500 in cash on him when he was arrested, and a search of his Caprice revealed, among other items, a Kenwood cassette radio and a Panasonic CD Player. Id. at 814. The police found in the victims' vehicle, among other items, a Kenwood stereo instruction manual and faceplate and a Panasonic CD Player case. Id.

         The initial testing of swabs taken from Lewis's body came back negative for the presence of semen. Id. A smear type stain of blood was found on the seat cushions on the backseat of the Caprice. Id. A small stain of human blood and seminal material was found on Petitioner's boxers. Id. However, the police laboratory could not obtain any DNA results. Id. at 815. The police technician, Pamela Fish, explained that the samples yielded no results, either because they were too small or because the DNA in the stains had degraded. Id.

         Fingerprint and hair samples were taken from the Blazer and Caprice. Id. Nothing in the Blazer matched Petitioner, and nothing in Petitioner's Caprice matched Lewis. Id. Lewis' hair was not found on Petitioner's clothing, and Petitioner's hair was not found on Lewis. Id. One and one-half condom wrappers were recovered in the Blazer. [18-22] at 16.

         Despite the lack of forensic evidence, a jury convicted Petitioner of two counts of first degree murder and one count each of aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and armed robbery. Brown Direct Appeal, 705 N.E.2d at 811. The state's primary witness was Zarice Johnson, one of the carjackers, who entered into a plea agreement. Id. at 813. Johnson testified for the prosecution detailing Petitioner's role in the killings, rape, and carjacking. The victims' friend, Fitch, also testified about witnessing the carjacking. Id. at 811.

         The final major piece of evidence was that the proceeds from the carjacking - most notably the Panasonic CD player and Kenwood stereo - were recovered in Petitioner's car. Id. at 814.

         Petitioner was sentenced to death for the murders, and concurrent 30-year sentences on the aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated vehicular hijacking charges. Id. at 811. The court imposed no sentence for the armed robbery ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.