932 F.2d 1142 (5th Cir. 1991), 90-3852, Dickerson v. Guste

Docket Nº:90-3852
Citation:932 F.2d 1142
Party Name:Johnny DICKERSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. William J. GUSTE, Jr., Louisiana State Attorney General, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:June 11, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 1142

932 F.2d 1142 (5th Cir. 1991)

Johnny DICKERSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

William J. GUSTE, Jr., Louisiana State Attorney General, et

al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 90-3852

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

June 11, 1991

Page 1143

Johnny Dickerson, pro se.

Clara E. Toombs, Duncan S. Kemp, III, Amite, La., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before KING, GARWOOD, and DUHE, Circuit Judges.

DUHE, Circuit Judge.

Johnny Dickerson, a prisoner convicted of several felonies in Louisiana state court, sought habeas corpus relief in federal court. He alleged that the state denied his right to a speedy trial and that the state trial court erred in denying his motion for new trial and his pretrial motion for an investigator. The federal district court denied relief. We affirm.

This case reflects the remarkable saga of Dickerson's labyrinthian journey through a wide assortment of state and federal courts and prisons. The murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery that form the basis for the state prosecution of which Dickerson now complains occurred in April 1981 in Tangipahoe Parish, Louisiana. 1 In February 1983, a Louisiana state court judge signed two arrest warrants charging Dickerson with these crimes. Dickerson, however, could not be arrested because he was serving time in a federal prison.

Sheriff's officials in Louisiana lodged a detainer against Dickerson, and officials of the federal prison accepted and placed the detainer. The detainer was in place within two weeks after the issuance of the state arrest warrants. Dickerson filed repeated motions for speedy trial in state courts. All of these requests were denied. He next sought habeas corpus relief in federal district court, but the court denied the request. Dickerson then appealed the denial of his habeas corpus petition to this Court.

In September 1986, while the appeal to this Court was pending, Dickerson finished serving his federal sentence. The Louisiana detainer was activated, and Louisiana officials arrested him. In November 1986 a Louisiana grand jury indicted Dickerson for first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and armed robbery. See Dickerson v. Louisiana, 816 F.2d 220, 221-24 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 956, 108 S.Ct. 352, 98 L.Ed.2d 378 (1987).

This Court viewed the habeas petition as one brought under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2241, which applies to a person in custody regardless of whether final judgment has been rendered and regardless of the status of the case that is pending. 2 See Dickerson, 816 F.2d at 224-25. On the merits, this Court held that Dickerson had not exhausted state remedies because he had not filed a motion for speedy trial in state court since the date of his indictment. Id. at 228-29.

Dickerson next filed a motion in state court to quash the indictment, alleging a violation of his right to a speedy trial. After a pretrial hearing, the state court denied the motion. A jury found Dickerson guilty of second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and armed robbery. He received two life sentences and one...

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