United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
G. Reinhard Judge
following reasons, petitioner's amended 28 U.S.C. §
2254 motion  is denied. The court declines to issue a
certificate of appealability. This matter is terminated.
January 16, 2015, petitioner Patrick Brown filed a 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 motion challenging his state court sentence.
See . On March 2, 2015, the court stayed these
proceedings pending petitioner's resolution of his state
court proceedings. See . The court lifted the
stay on March 17, 2016, after finding that petitioner's
state law proceedings had ended, and also allowed petitioner
to file an amended petition that would
“supersede” his original petition. See
. Petitioner filed an amended petition on April 11, 2016.
See . Respondent filed an answer to the petition
on July 29, 2016 , along with the state court record
. Petitioner requested that an additional affidavit be
placed into the record , which the court granted .
Petitioner filed a reply on December 5, 2016. See
. These matters are now ripe for the court's review.
The court will first discuss the relevant factual and
procedural background before analyzing petitioner's
Factual and Procedural History.
following findings of facts are drawn from the state record.
See . On October 19, 2001, following a dispute
over a drug sale, petitioner beat Britton Tullock to death
with a metal bar. On October 20, 2001, petitioner was
arrested and confessed to murdering Tullock. Petitioner was
ultimately charged with multiple counts of first-degree
murder and the case proceeded to a jury trial in Winnebago
Evidence at Trial.
his arrest, petitioner provided written and oral confessions
to the police. Petitioner informed the officers that on
October 19, 2001, he and his accomplice Brian Johnson had met
with Tullock in petitioner's garage. The purpose of the
meeting was for Johnson to purchase crack cocaine from
Tullock, but Tullock grew angry that the two did not have
sufficient money to purchase the drugs. Tullock attacked
petitioner, who then grabbed a metal pry bar and struck
Tullock repeatedly on the head. At some point, Johnson
stabbed Tullock. While there was some evidence that
petitioner may have made oral statements to the effect that
prior to attacking Tullock, Tullock gestured as though he
were reaching into his coat for a gun, petitioner's
written statements do not mention Tullock reaching for a gun.
Petitioner and Johnson then placed Tullock's body in
Tullock's car, and Johnson moved the car to a different
location while petitioner removed incriminating evidence from
and Johnson attempted to leave town by vehicle when they were
stopped by police officers, who recovered from the vehicle
24.5 grams of cocaine, blood-stained carpeting, bloody
sheets, a metal bar, a knife, and several articles of damp
clothing that smelled like bleach. Petitioner and Johnson
were arrested and petitioner ultimately confessed to killing
addition to the evidence above, the state presented
photographs indicating that petitioner suffered no wounds
following Tullock's killing, and that Tullock sustained
blunt force trauma to his head, face, neck, and extremities,
and also was stabbed in his upper body. A medical examiner
testified that Tullock's blunt force injuries were fatal
and consistent with being beaten with a metal bar.
did not testify. His trial counsel relied on defendant's
oral statements, however, to argue that petitioner only
attacked Tullock in self defense after seeing Tullock reach
for a gun.
jury found petitioner guilty of first-degree murder
accompanied by brutal and heinous behavior indicative of
wanton cruelty. The trial court sentenced petitioner to life
direct appeal, petitioner made two arguments:
(1) The trial court abused its discretion by admitting
autopsy photographs that depicted Tullock's knife wounds;
(2) In closing argument, the prosecutor misstated Illinois
law regarding the required mental state for second-degree
appellate court affirmed petitioner's conviction.
Petitioner filed a pro se PLA petition, arguing that in
closing argument the prosecutor misstated Illinois law
regarding the required mental state for second-degree murder.
The Illinois Supreme Court denied the PLA on September 27,
First Post-conviction Petition.
2007, petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction petition