234 F.3d 1270 (6th Cir. 2000), 98-4541, Starr v. Mitchell

Docket Nº:98-4541.
Citation:234 F.3d 1270
Party Name:Anthony STARR, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Betty MITCHELL, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:October 06, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Page 1270

234 F.3d 1270 (6th Cir. 2000)

Anthony STARR, Petitioner-Appellant,


Betty MITCHELL, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 98-4541.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

October 6, 2000

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA6 Rule 28 and FI CTA6 IOP 206 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Before KEITH, SILER, and BATCHELDER, Circuit Judges.


Petitioner Anthony Starr appeals from the judgment of the district court denying his writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. An Ohio jury convicted Starr of attempted aggravated burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and three counts of rape. Starr appeals the district court's denial of his claims that (1) the prosecutor's suppression of pre-trial statements by the victim that supported the defense, together with the prosecutor's subsequent introduction of testimony from the victim at trial contradicting her pre-trial statements, constituted prosecutorial misconduct; (2) his appellant counsel was ineffective; and (3) the evidence offered against him at trial was insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. After a careful review of the record and arguments presented on appeal, we AFFIRM the district court's judgment.


  1. Factual History

    Starr's convictions stem from two separate incidents, the first a violent attack and rape of Eleanor LaRue in her home, and the second an attempted burglary of the home of Kimberly Walford. Both women testified at Starr's trial.

    Ms. LaRue returned home around 1 a.m. on October 3, 1987, and was attacked as she descended into the basement of her home looking for her cat. An intruder, wearing gloves, dark clothes and a ski mask, threw her onto the floor, wrapped her head and neck in duct tape, bound her wrists and feet, and repeatedly raped her. After the man finished raping her, Ms. LaRue heard him "zip up lots of zippers" and clean up the area. She heard him leave the house momentarily and then return to the basement. Ms. LaRue's attacker squirted a cold liquid in her vagina, and again left the house momentarily. When he returned, he carried Ms. LaRue to another part of the basement and stabbed her repeatedly in the chest with a knife. Ms. LaRue feigned death and her attacker left. Thereafter, she managed to crawl to a telephone and call police.

    Ms. LaRue caught only a momentary glimpse of her masked attacker, and never heard him speak. She determined that he was over six feet tall, weighed over two-hundred pounds, and seemed to be wearing clothes with many zippers. A police search of the residence after the incident yielded very little evidence. There were no signs of a forced entry, no identifiable fingerprints and insufficient semen for testing. One piece of evidence recovered was a small piece of plastic coated cord that the attacker brought into Ms. LaRue's home.

    The second incident leading to Starr's conviction occurred on December 12, 1997. As Ms. Walford drove to her home at approximately 3:30 a.m., she noticed that a car appeared to be following her. Upon entering her home, she observed the car park on the wrong side of the street three doors away. Once inside her home, Ms. Walford heard someone opening a window in one of her bedrooms and called the police. The police arrived promptly, and she directed them to the back of the house. The police observed Starr fleeing the scene and were able to apprehend him. A search of Starr's vehicle revealed a knife with the blade wrapped in tape, a ski mask, a black leather jacket with many zippers, and a plastic cord.

  2. Procedural History

    Starr was indicted pursuant to an eleven count indictment in connection with the incidents involving Ms. LaRue and Ms. Walford. Starr pled not guilty, and was convicted by a jury in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on September 30, 1988 of attempted aggravated burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and three counts of rape.

    After his conviction, Starr appealed to the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals, which affirmed his conviction on April 5, 1990. He then filed a notice of appeal and memorandum in support of jurisdiction with the Ohio Supreme Court, which denied his appeal on September 26, 1990. On January 4, 1993, Starr filed a...

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