Byrd v. Armontrout, No. 87-1966C-(1).

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
Writing for the CourtWilliam L. Webster, Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., for respondents
Citation686 F. Supp. 743
PartiesMaurice Oscar BYRD, Petitioner, v. Bill ARMONTROUT, Warden, Missouri State Prison, and Attorney General of the State of Missouri, Respondents.
Decision Date09 June 1988
Docket NumberNo. 87-1966C-(1).

686 F. Supp. 743

Maurice Oscar BYRD, Petitioner,
v.
Bill ARMONTROUT, Warden, Missouri State Prison, and Attorney General of the State of Missouri, Respondents.

No. 87-1966C-(1).

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, E.D.

May 27, 1988.

Order and Memorandum June 9, 1988.


686 F. Supp. 744
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686 F. Supp. 745
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686 F. Supp. 746
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686 F. Supp. 747
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686 F. Supp. 748
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686 F. Supp. 749
Burton Shostak, Moline, Ottsen, Mauze Leggat & Shostak, St. Louis, Mo., for petitioner

William L. Webster, Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., for respondents.

MEMORANDUM

NANGLE, Chief Judge.

 Index
                 Page
                 I. Introduction ......................... 750
                 II. Petitioner's Exhaustion of
                 State Remedies ..................... 751
                III. Habeas Grounds B, M, and Q
                 Unexhausted or Exhausted
                 But Subject to Procedural
                 Default ............................ 752
                 A. Unexhausted or Exhausted .......... 753
                 B. Procedural Default ................ 753
                 IV. Habeas Grounds D and E ............... 755
                 A. Missouri State Court
                 Remedies Available to a
                 Criminal Defendant By
                 Which He Can Seek a
                 New Trial Based upon
                 Newly Discovered Evidence
                 When the New
                 Evidence is Discovered
                 After the Defendant's
                 Direct Appeal has been
                 Completed ....................... 756
                

686 F. Supp. 750
Page B. Do Petitioner's Failure to Raise His Claim of Newly Discovered Evidence in a Timely Filed Motion for New Trial in the Trial Court and Petitioner's Failure to Apply to the Governor of Missouri for Executive Clemency or Pardon Create Any Procedural Bars to this Court Considering Petitioner's Habeas Grounds D and E on their Merits? .............. 759 C. Habeas Grounds D and E Merits .......................... 760 1. Habeas Ground D ............... 760 2. Habeas Ground E ............... 762 V. Habeas Grounds A, C, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, P, R, and S: Merits ...................... 763 A. Habeas Grounds G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, P, and S ......... 763 1. Habeas Ground G ................ 763 2. Habeas Ground H ................ 763 3. Habeas Ground I ................ 763 4. Habeas Ground J ................ 764 5. Habeas Ground K ................ 767 6. Habeas Ground L ................ 768 7. Habeas Ground N ................ 770 8. Habeas Ground O ................ 773 9. Habeas Ground P ................ 774 10. Habeas Ground S ................ 776 B. Habeas Grounds A, C, and F ........................... 777 1. Habeas Ground A ................ 778 2. Habeas Ground C ................ 783 3. Habeas Ground F ................ 784 C. Habeas Ground R ................... 784 VI. Petitioner's Motion for Discovery .... 784 VII. Conclusion ........................... 785

I. Introduction.

During the morning of October 23, 1980, four employees of Pope's Cafeteria in the West County Shopping Mall in St. Louis County, Missouri, were shot to death during a burglary which netted the burglars at least $4,000 and possibly over $8800. An employee of Pope's Cafeteria discovered the bodies at about 7:40 a.m. and the Police arrived on the scene at about 7:45 a.m. The State of Missouri charged petitioner Maurice Oscar Byrd with four counts of capital murder for his alleged participation in the murders. Petitioner maintains his innocence and denies any participation whatsoever in the events of October 23, 1980. Between August 9 and August 14, 1982, petitioner, represented by public defenders, was tried on the capital murder charges before a jury in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. On August 14, 1982, the jury convicted petitioner of the four counts of capital murder. On December 7, 1982, the Court sentenced petitioner to death on each count.

On direct appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court, per Judge Gunn (now of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri), affirmed. State v. Byrd, 676 S.W.2d 494 (Mo. banc 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1230, 105 S.Ct. 1233, 84 L.Ed.2d 370 (1985). Petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction Missouri Rule 27.26 motion in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. (Respondent's Exhibit F pp. 27-36). After an evidentiary hearing, the Circuit Court denied petitioner's Rule 27.26 motion. (Id. at pp. 16-23). On appeal, on November 12, 1986, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed. Byrd v. State, 723 S.W.2d 37 (Mo.App.1986), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 108 S.Ct. 203, 98 L.Ed.2d 155 (1987), reh'g denied, ___ U.S. ___, 108 S.Ct. 360, 98 L.Ed.2d 385 (1987).

On November 24, 1986, petitioner's Rule 27.26 appellate attorney received a telephone call from a woman named "Anita" who purported to have personal knowledge of facts exculpating petitioner. (See Petitioner's Exhibit D). Therefore, on Monday, December 1, 1986, petitioner filed with the Missouri Court of Appeals a "Motion to Remand to the Trial Court for Hearing on Motion for New Trial Due to Newly Discovered Evidence," (Petitioner's Exhibit E, pp. 111-125), together with a "Motion for Leave to File Appellant's Exhibits and etc." (Id. at pp. 126-128). These motions were filed within petitioner's time to file with the Missouri Court of Appeals (and were filed contemporaneously with) petitioner's motion for rehearing on the November 12, 1986, decision, and/or transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court. (Id. at pp. 89-101; see Mo.R.Civ.P. 83.02). On December 5, 1986, the Missouri Court of Appeals denied without prejudice petitioner's "Motion to

686 F. Supp. 751
Remand and etc." and "Motion for Leave to File Appellant's Exhibits and etc." (Petitioner's Exhibit E, p. 110, first item). On December 30, 1986, petitioner then filed a "Petition in Mandamus" with the Missouri Supreme Court seeking to compel the Missouri Court of Appeals to issue a ruling on the merits of petitioner's "Motion to Remand and etc." (Id. at pp. 69-82). On February 17, 1987, the Missouri Supreme Court denied petitioner's "Petition in Mandamus." (Id. at p. 68).

On May 18, 1987, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. On October 5, 1987, the United States Supreme Court denied petitioner's petition for certiorari. Byrd v. Missouri, ___ U.S. ___, 108 S.Ct. 203, 98 L.Ed.2d 155 (1987). On October 6, 1987, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a warrant of execution for petitioner directing that petitioner "suffer death by the administration of lethal gas" on October 27, 1987. (See Attachments to Petitioner's October 23, 1987, Application for Stay of Execution and etc. filed in this Court). On October 23, 1987, petitioner filed in this Court a partially completed pro se petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody. This Court stayed petitioner's execution pending further order of this Court and appointed counsel to represent petitioner in this federal habeas corpus proceeding. (See Orders, October 26, 1987, and November 30, 1987). On November 6, 1987, petitioner, through his appointed counsel, filed an Amended Petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Person in State Custody. By his Amended Petition, together with a one-page amendment to the Amended Petition filed on December 7, 1987, petitioner raises nineteen grounds for federal habeas corpus relief denominated grounds (A) through (S).

II. Petitioner's Exhaustion of State Remedies.

In his direct appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, petitioner raised eight points of error denominated Points I through VIII. (Respondent's Exhibit C). In his appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals of the denial of his post-conviction Missouri Rule 27.26 motion, petitioner raised four points of error denominated Points I through IV. (Respondent's Exhibit H-1). Petitioner raises those twelve points in his Amended Petition for Habeas Corpus as his Habeas Grounds A, C, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, N, O, and S.1

Petitioner's Habeas Ground A (an ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim) contains two related points: first, petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective because he called Oscar Ford as a witness, and, second, said ineffectiveness was compounded by the fact that Ford had undergone hypnosis prior to his trial testimony. Petitioner raised the first of these points in state court as his Rule 27.26 Point I. Petitioner did not raise the second of these points in state court. However, respondents' Response to Order to Show Cause Why a Writ of Habeas Corpus Should Not Be Granted does not raise an exhaustion or procedural default objection to this second point. Rather, Respondents' Response addresses this second point on its merits during the Respondent's consideration of petitioner's Habeas Ground N, which Habeas Ground also concerns post-hypnotic testimony. (See Response at p. 80). The Court concludes therefore that, for the second point raised in Habeas Ground A, respondents have waived the exhaustion requirement and have waived petitioner's procedural default. Wade v. Armontrout, 798 F.2d 304, 306 n. 1 (8th Cir.1986); Purnell v. Missouri Department of Corrections, 753 F.2d 703, 708-10 (8th Cir.1985).

686 F. Supp. 752

Petitioner did not specifically raise his Habeas Ground P as a point relied upon in state court. However, the Missouri Supreme Court expressly considered and rejected this Habeas Ground. State v. Byrd, 676 S.W.2d at 503-504. Further, respondents' Response does not raise an exhaustion or procedural default objection to this Habeas Ground. Rather, respondents' Response addresses Habeas Ground P on the merits. (See Response at pp. 87-89). The Court therefore concludes that Habeas Ground P is exhausted or, alternatively, that, for Habeas Ground P, respondents have waived the exhaustion requirement and have waived any procedural default.

Petitioner did not raise his Habeas Ground R in state court. However, respondents' Response does not raise an exhaustion or procedural default objection to this Habeas Ground....

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14 practice notes
  • Leisure v. Bowersox, No. 4:92CV2193-DJS.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • January 13, 1998
    ...the voir dire is a factual determination entitled to the statutory presumption of correctness. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 764 (E.D.Mo.1988), aff'd, 880 F.2d 1 (8th Cir.1989); Wright v. Lockhart, 914 F.2d 1093, 1101 (8th The record supports the trial court's fi......
  • McConnell v. State, No. 49722.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • July 23, 2009
    ...deprivation asserted in a petition for federal habeas corpus must stand on its own, or, as here, fall on its own"); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 784 (E.D.Mo.1988) (same). Assuming that multiple claims of constitutionally deficient counsel may be cumulated to demonstrate prejudice, w......
  • Schneider v. Delo, No. 90CV1968SNL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • June 8, 1995
    ...upon an expanded record presented to this Court. See, Bolder v. Armontrout, 921 F.2d 1359, 1364 (8th Cir. 1990); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 778 (E.D.Mo.1988), aff'd 880 F.2d 1 (8th Cir. 1989) referred to in Byrd v. Delo, 942 F.2d 1226, 1230 (8th Cir.1991) (consideration of petitio......
  • Mercer v. Armontrout, No. 88-1019-CV-W-5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • October 18, 1988
    ...the Court finds Chief Judge Nangle's thoughtful resolution of this issue persuasive, and adopts it as its own. See Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 753 (E.D.Mo.1988). Accordingly, Mercer is procedurally barred from raising those issues in state collateral To overcome this bar, Mercer mu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Leisure v. Bowersox, No. 4:92CV2193-DJS.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • January 13, 1998
    ...the voir dire is a factual determination entitled to the statutory presumption of correctness. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 764 (E.D.Mo.1988), aff'd, 880 F.2d 1 (8th Cir.1989); Wright v. Lockhart, 914 F.2d 1093, 1101 (8th The record supports the trial court's fi......
  • McConnell v. State, No. 49722.
    • United States
    • Nevada Supreme Court of Nevada
    • July 23, 2009
    ...deprivation asserted in a petition for federal habeas corpus must stand on its own, or, as here, fall on its own"); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 784 (E.D.Mo.1988) (same). Assuming that multiple claims of constitutionally deficient counsel may be cumulated to demonstrate prejudice, w......
  • Schneider v. Delo, No. 90CV1968SNL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • June 8, 1995
    ...upon an expanded record presented to this Court. See, Bolder v. Armontrout, 921 F.2d 1359, 1364 (8th Cir. 1990); Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 778 (E.D.Mo.1988), aff'd 880 F.2d 1 (8th Cir. 1989) referred to in Byrd v. Delo, 942 F.2d 1226, 1230 (8th Cir.1991) (consideration of petitio......
  • Mercer v. Armontrout, No. 88-1019-CV-W-5.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • October 18, 1988
    ...the Court finds Chief Judge Nangle's thoughtful resolution of this issue persuasive, and adopts it as its own. See Byrd v. Armontrout, 686 F.Supp. 743, 753 (E.D.Mo.1988). Accordingly, Mercer is procedurally barred from raising those issues in state collateral To overcome this bar, Mercer mu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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