United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Judge.
Alonso Campbell brings a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his
convictions entered in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Petitioner is serving a 28-year sentence for the first-degree
murder of Terrance Smith. For the following reasons, this
Court denies the Petition, and declines to issues a
certificate of appealability.
review of state-court decisions under § 2254 is limited.
With respect to a state court's determination of an issue
on the merits, habeas relief can be granted only if the
decision “was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established federal law, ” or
“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)-(2);
Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 100 (2011). This
Court presumes that the state court's account of the
facts is correct, and Petitioner bears “the burden of
rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and
convincing evidence.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1);
see also Coleman v. Hardy, 690 F.3d 811, 815 (7th
prisoners must also give state courts “one full
opportunity” to resolve any constitutional issues by
“invoking one complete round of the State's
established appellate review process.”
O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845
(1999). If a petitioner asserts a claim for habeas relief
that he did not present in the first instance to the state
courts, then the claim is procedurally defaulted. Byers
v. Basinger, 610 F.3d 980, 985 (7th Cir. 2010) (federal
courts may not address those claims unless the petitioner
demonstrates cause and prejudice or a fundamental miscarriage
of justice if the claims are ignored).
Background and Procedural History
facts and procedural posture from the state court are
summarized below. This Court presumes the correctness of the
state court's factual determinations for the purposes of
habeas review, 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1), because
Petitioner has failed to contest them or otherwise point to
any clear and convincing contrary evidence.
25, 2007, Petitioner murdered Terrance Smith in a drive-by
shooting as the victim sat in a sedan with an individual
named Alvin Lane. [12-1] at 36-37. Two days later, Assistant
State's Attorney (ASA) Emily Stevens and Detective Thomas
Crain visited Alvin Lane in the hospital, and he said that he
saw either a gun in the backseat of the SUV or the Petitioner
holding a gun, and that he also recalled gunfire coming from
the front seat of the SUV. Id.
the State charged Petitioner along with Shantrell Tucker, and
Antonio Cox, with the first-degree murder of Smith.
Id. at 3. In January 2008, the trial court set
Petitioner and Tucker for trial on April 1, 2008.
Id. at 4.
February and March 2008, the trial court held several status
hearings regarding the prosecution's difficulty in
serving certain witnesses. Id. at 4. On March 24,
the trial court set another status date for April 1, 2008-the
day on which trial had set to begin-because Petitioner's
counsel failed to appear. Id. When the parties met
on April 1, the prosecution advised the trial court that they
were still not prepared for trial due to difficulty in
procuring witnesses, and Tucker's counsel demanded trial.
Id. Two weeks later, Petitioner's counsel also
demanded a trial.
2008, the court granted the prosecution's motion for an
extension of time under the Illinois Speedy Trial Act to
locate a witness, Lukenia Strong. Id. at 5. Several
days later, counsel for both defendants stipulated that the
prosecution exercised due diligence in attempting to find
Strong, but they also objected to the continuance because
they saw no reasonable likelihood that the State could ever
procure her appearance. Id. at 5-6.
joint trial (Petitioner and Cox) commenced on August 7, 2007.
Id. at 6. At trial, Jennifer Walls testified that on
the evening of Smith's murder, she and Steve Wooten were
outside speaking to three men in a red Monte Carlo (Lane,
Smith, and Jennifer's brother, Vernon Walls) when an SUV
pulled up next to the Monte Carlo, and Jennifer took a phone
call. Id. at 6-7. When that phone call ended,
Jennifer heard gunshots coming from the SUV and saw that
Smith and Lane had been shot. Id. Consistent with
her statements to detectives the day after the shooting,
Jennifer identified Tucker as the SUV's driver and
Petitioner as the backseat passenger during her in-court
testimony. [12-2] at 9.
testified that when the SUV pulled up next to the Monte
Carlo, Tucker asked whether Lane knew anything about his van
being “shot up.” Id. at 10. Then two
guns were drawn in the SUV and began to fire into the Monte
Carlo. Id. When he spoke to police after the
incident, Vernon identified Tucker as the SUV's driver,
but did not identify ...