United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. DARRAH, United States District Court Judge
Daniel McGregory, proceeding pro se, filed a
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254, against Respondent Warden Randy Pfister.
For the reasons stated below, McGregory's Petition  is
denied. Additionally, a certificate of appealability shall
20, 2006, a jury found Petitioner guilty of first-degree
murder, and the trial court sentenced him to forty-five years
of imprisonment. The relevant facts developed in state court
are presumed to be correct, absent clear and convincing
evidence to the contrary. See 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1). The following facts were elicited at trial in
Cook County, Illinois.
girlfriend, Katherin Hillman, testified that on October 29,
2003, she and Harris were standing in a parking lot in
Maywood, Illinois, when she saw Petitioner walking toward
them. (State Ct. Rec. Exh. A at 1-2.) When Hillman brought
this to Harris' attention, Harris turned and faced
Petitioner. Petitioner then pulled out a gun and fired.
Harris ran away, and Petitioner pursued him. Hillman drove
after them and heard more shots. Harris ran into the street
and fell down after Petitioner shot him again. Petitioner
then ran away. (Id. at 2.)
Lawrence Connor testified that he responded to the report of
a shooting and saw Petitioner running through an alley. He
exited his car and pursued Petitioner on foot and arrested
him. At the police station, after a lineup was conducted,
Detective Connor spoke to Petitioner. Petitioner admitted he
shot the victim, and Detective Connor called the State's
Attorney's Office to interview him. Petitioner's
interview was memorialized in writing and videotaped.
(Id. at 3.) Assistant State's Attorney Steven
Krueger testified that he transcribed Petitioner's
statement and read it to Petitioner so that he could make
corrections and initial each page. Petitioner stated that two
weeks prior to the shooting, he won 100 dollars from Harris
while “pitching coins.” Harris then punched
Petitioner. Petitioner received stitches for his injuries.
night of the shooting, Petitioner saw Harris speaking with
another man and thought that Harris was talking about him.
Petitioner left the area, retrieved his gun, and returned to
where he saw Harris. When Harris noticed Petitioner,
Petitioner drew his g un. Harris began to run away, and
Petitioner shot at him. Petitioner chased Harris and
continued shooting. Harris fell down, and Petitioner fired
once more. Petitioner then ran away and threw the gun in some
bushes. (Id. at 4.) Petitioner also made a
videotaped statement. In the statement, Petitioner stated
that although he had seen Harris with a gun in the past,
Harris was unarmed the night of the shooting. He also stated
that he thought he had to kill Harris before Harris killed
him. (Id. at 5.)
trial, Petitioner testified that Harris did not have a gun
the night of the shooting and did not threaten to kill him.
Petitioner stated that when Harris did threaten to beat him
up just before he pulled out his gun and fired. (Id.
at 6.) The jury found Petitioner guilty of first-degree
murder, and the trial court sentenced him to 45 years of
imprisonment. (Id. at 7.) Petitioner appealed and
the state appellate court affirmed his conviction.
(Id. at 13.)
9, 2010, the state appellate court denied Petitioner's
motion for rehearing. (Id. at 91.) Petitioner did
not file a petition for leave to appeal (“PLA”)
in the Illinois Supreme Court. Petitioner alleged that he did
not learn of the appellate court's order denying his
petition for rehearing until June of 2011. (Id. at
103.) On August 15, 2011, Petitioner filed a pro se
motion for leave to file a late PLA. The Illinois Supreme
Court denied his request on November 30, 2011. Petitioner did
not file a petition for writ of certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court.
August 8, 2012, Petitioner filed a pro se
post-conviction petition with the state trial court. The
trial court dismissed the petition as frivolous and without
merit. The state appellate court affirmed the dismissal.
(Exh. H.) Petitioner then filed a PLA that was denied by the
Illinois Supreme Court on September 30, 2015. (Exh. M.) The
United States Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition
for a writ of certiorari on March 21, 2016. (Exh. N.)
Petitioner filed this petition for habeas corpus on
April 11, 2016. (Dkt. 1.)
pro se petition is construed liberally. Ward v.
Jenkins, 613 F.3d 692, 700 (7th Cir. 2010). The
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”) governs this Court's authority to
grant petitions for habeas corpus. Schriro v.
Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465, 473 (2007). Historically,
habeas corpus relief has been viewed as “an
extraordinary remedy, ‘a bulwark against convictions
that violate fundamental fairness.'” Brecht v.
Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619, 633 (1933) (quoting Engle
v. Isaac, 456 U.S. 107, 126 (1982)) (other internal
citations omitted). It provides that relief may not be
granted to any claim adjudicated on the merits in a state
court proceeding unless the claim “was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable application of Supreme Court
precedent” or “resulted in a decision that was
based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the State court
proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); Smith v.
McKee, 598 F.3d 374, 382 (7th Cir. 2010). The federal
court deferentially reviews the decision of the last state
court. Griffin v. Pierce, 622 F.3d 831, 841 (7th
Cir. 2010). State court factual findings are presumed to be
correct unless the petitioner rebuts this presumption with
“clear and convincing evidence.”
Schriro, 550 U.S. at 474 (citing 28 U.S.C. §
Government argues that the petition for writ of habeas
corpus should be dismissed because it is barred by the
one-year statute of ...