United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ex rel. SCOTT PARKER, Petitioner,
WALTER NICHOLSON, Warden, Stateville Correctional Center,  Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WOOD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
2002, Scott Parker was convicted of felony murder,
involuntary manslaughter, and residential burglary, all in
connection with the death of Catherine Kelley. Parker was
sentenced to 60 years in prison, and he is now serving his
sentence at the Statesville Correctional Center in Joliet,
Illinois. On December 23, 2009, Parker filed a pro
se petition in this Court seeking a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his petition,
Parker claims that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel in connection with a pretrial evidentiary hearing
regarding the admission of certain incriminating statements.
Parker also claims that the Illinois state courts
independently erred in admitting those incriminating
statements. Finally, Parker maintains that the Illinois state
courts erred in convicting him of both first-degree murder
and involuntary manslaughter. For the reasons explained
below, the petition is denied.
federal court considering a habeas corpus petition presumes
correct the factual findings made by the last state court to
adjudicate the case on the merits, unless those findings are
rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. See 28
U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Rever v. Acevedo, 590 F.3d
533, 537 (7th Cir. 2010); Ward v. Sternes, 334 F.3d
696, 704 (7th Cir. 2003). The Illinois Appellate Court made
factual findings in two opinions: People v. Parker,
801 N.E.2d 162 (Ill.App.Ct. 2003), and People v.
Parker, No. 3-04-0574 (Ill.App.Ct. 2009). Parker does
not challenge those factual findings and thus this Court
accepts them as true. See Mendiola v. Schomig, 224
F.3d 589, 592-93 (7th Cir. 2000) (stating that state
appellate court's factual findings are entitled to the
same deference afforded to state trial court's findings).
November 12, 2001, Parker, who had previously performed
maintenance work for Kelley, went to her home in Moline,
Illinois. Parker, 801 N.E.2d at 164. Kelley's
car was in the driveway, but she did not answer her door when
Parker knocked. Id. Nonetheless, Parker entered the
home, saw Kelley's purse on the table, and took a credit
card from it. Id. Parker then heard a noise in the
basement and walked toward the basement stairwell, where he
encountered Kelley at the top of the stairs. Id.
Kelley began screaming and Parker grabbed onto her as she ran
or slipped back down the stairs. Id.
fell going down the stairs. Id. As he got up, he
wrapped his arm around Kelley and held on to her “real
tight” because she was screaming and yelling.
Id. Parker then tried to tie a white piece of cloth
around Kelley's mouth. Id. An autopsy later
revealed that Kelley died from strangulation, probably by the
bathrobe belt found tied around her. Id. Parker used
the credit card he had taken to buy power tools that he then
pawned. Id. He was arrested by police on November
16, 2001 at a bus stop in Davenport, Iowa, pursuant to an
arrest warrant for forgery and theft based on his use of
Kelley's credit card. Id.
Parker's Arrest and Interrogation
Davenport police informed the Moline police of Parker's
arrest, and two Moline police detectives, Pablo Reyna and
Douglas Garrison, went to Davenport to interview Parker.
Id. Garrison informed Parker of his Miranda
rights and Parker acknowledged that he understood them.
Id. Parker was then given a form containing the
Miranda rights and asked to place his initials next
to each statement on the form. Id. Parker began
initialing the form but stopped and said “I think I
need a lawyer.” Id. He then said, “I
didn't mean to hurt her.” Id. Reyna and
Garrison then left and went to another room to interview
Parker's mother. Id.
to the Illinois Appellate Court's factual recitation,
approximately ten minutes after Reyna and Garrison left,
Davenport Police Detective Thomas entered the interview room
and told Parker that he was going to read him the warrant
that had been the basis for his arrest. Id. After
Thomas began reading the warrant, Parker interrupted him and
made some inculpatory statements. Id. Thomas did not
respond. Id. Parker then asked Thomas to get Reyna.
Id. Thomas told Reyna and Garrison what had occurred
and they went back into the interview room. Id.
to Parker, Thomas read Parker the warrant and told him that
it would be to his benefit to speak to the detectives.
(People v. Parker, No. 3-04-0574 (Ill.App.Ct. 2009)
at 4, Ex. E to Resp.'s Answer, Dkt. No. 13-6 (recounting
Parker's testimony at evidentiary hearing in his
post-conviction proceeding).) Parker then asked Thomas about
the whereabouts of his mother; Thomas replied that she was
being questioned; and Parker asked for the detectives.
(Id. at 4-5.)
Parker said that he wished to speak without his lawyer
present, he was re-Mirandized and signed a written
waiver of his rights. Parker, 801 N.E.2d at 164.
Parker subsequently gave a video-taped statement in which he
admitted to killing Kelley. Id. at 164-65.
Trial Court Proceedings
March 1, 2002, the trial court held a hearing on Parker's
pretrial motion to suppress his confession. (People v.
Parker, No. 3-04-0574 (Ill.App.Ct. 2009) at 2, Ex. E to
Resp.'s Answer, Dkt. No. 13-6.) Parker's trial
counsel did not present any evidence at the hearing.
Id. Instead, Parker's trial counsel argued that
Thomas re-initiated contact with Parker by re-entering the
room to read the warrant to Parker. Id. The trial
court disagreed, finding that Parker was the one who
re-initiated contact with the detectives, and thus denied
Parker's motion to suppress. Id. at 2-3. In May
2002, following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Rock
Island County, Parker was convicted of murder, involuntary
manslaughter, and residential burglary-based on the killing
of Catherine Kelley and burglarizing of her home-and
sentenced to a term of 60 years of imprisonment for murder.
Id. at 3. Parker then appealed. Id.
direct appeal, Parker argued that:
(1) the trial court erroneously denied his motion to suppress
statements that he made to police after invoking his right to
(2) his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to call him
to testify at the suppression hearing;
(3) the trial court violated Illinois Supreme Court Rule
605(a) by failing to advise him of the need to file a motion
for reconsideration if he wished ...