Satter v. Class, Civ. No. 96-1020.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. District of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtKornmann
Citation976 F.Supp. 879
Decision Date29 July 1997
Docket NumberCiv. No. 96-1020.
PartiesSteven SATTER, Petitioner, v. Joseph CLASS, Warden, and Mark Barnett, Attorney General of South Dakota, Respondents.

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976 F.Supp. 879
Steven SATTER, Petitioner,
v.
Joseph CLASS, Warden, and Mark Barnett, Attorney General of South Dakota, Respondents.
Civ. No. 96-1020.
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Central Division.
July 29, 1997.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Steven Allan Satter, Sioux Falls, SD, Pro Se.

Ann C. Meyer, Office of Attorney General, Pierre, SD, for Respondents.

ORDER DENYING RELIEF UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2254

KORNMANN, District Judge.


[¶1]Petitioner herein, a prisoner at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, has filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Doc. 1, and a memorandum detailing issue, Doc. 2. The Court previously granted petitioner's request to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. 10. The petition was assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Moreno. Doc. 17. The respondents submitted an answer to petitioner's petition, Doc. 12, and a memorandum in support of answer, Doc. 13. Petitioner submitted a response to respondents' answer, Doc. 15. The magistrate judge submitted his Report and Recommendations For Disposition to the Court on

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May 23, 1997. Doc. 19. A copy of such Report and Recommendations For Disposition was served upon the parties as required by 28 U.S.C. § 636. The magistrate judge recommended that petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 be denied in all respects, on the merits and with prejudice, without an evidentiary hearing. Petitioner filed objections to the report and recommendations. Doc. 20.

[¶2]The Court has made a de novo review of the record herein. The Court determines that the findings and recommendations of the magistrate judge, Doc. 19, will be accepted and that the petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 will be denied, on the merits and with prejudice, without an evidentiary hearing.

[¶3]Petitioner's objections do not raise any arguments not previously addressed in his petition for writ of habeas corpus or memorandum of issues. All of petitioner's arguments were fully addressed in the magistrate judge's well-written opinion, Doc. 19. Petitioner's objections will be overruled for the reasons set forth in the report and recommendations, Doc. 19.

[¶4]Now, therefore,

IT IS ORDERED:

(1) The Report and Recommendations For Disposition of U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno, Doc. 19, filed May 23, 1997, is hereby adopted as the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law herein.

(2) The objections of petitioner to the Report and Recommendations, Doc. 20, are overruled.

(3) Petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, Doc. 1, is denied in all respects, with prejudice.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISPOSITION

MORENO, United States Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

[¶1]The above-captioned matter was referred to this Court by the District Court1 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for the purpose of appointing counsel and holding an evidentiary hearing, if deemed necessary, and for the submission to the latter court of proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition of the matter. R.17.

[¶2]After careful review of the records on file, including the state court filings and transcripts in Codington County Crim. No. 73-1014, and based on the totality of the circumstances before this Court, the Court does now make the following findings of fact and report and report and recommendations for disposition in accordance with the District Court's referral order.

[¶3]For convenience, petitioner, Steven Allan Satter, will be referred to herein as "Satter" and respondents, Joseph Class and Mark Barnett, will be referred to as "State". References to the federal and state court records and the transcript of the November 1-9, 1993 jury trial will be made using the letters "R.", "St. R." and "T. Tr." followed by the appropriate page number in the record or transcript.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶4]Satter was found guilty by a Codington County jury of two counts of murder on May 10, 1974 and thereafter sentenced to serve two concurrent life terms without the possibility of parole. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. State v. Satter, 90 S.D. 485, 486, 492, 242 N.W.2d 149, 150, 153 (1976) (Satter I). In his direct appeal, Satter contended, among other things, that the State had failed to prove that his acts evinced the requisite "depraved mind" to convict him of murder and that there was insufficient evidence to counter his self-defense claim. 90 S.D. at 489-90, 242 N.W.2d at 152. The South Dakota Supreme Court, however, rejected Satter's contention and concluded that "[f]rom the evidence presented the jury could reasonably find [Satter] guilty of the two counts of murder." 90 S.D. at 490, 242 N.W.2d at 152.

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[¶5]In 1986, Satter filed a petition for post-conviction relief in South Dakota state court, raising three issues, namely:

1. That his statements to the Codington County Sheriff were involuntary;

2. That he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and

3. That two jury instructions given were inadequate.

R.12 at 3. The state habeas court denied his petition, but the South Dakota Supreme Court later reversed, holding that Satter's statements to the sheriff were involuntary and should have been suppressed. Satter v. Solem, 422 N.W.2d 425, 428 (S.D.1988) (Satter II). The State then sought and obtained a rehearing before the Supreme Court on the limited issues of whether Satter's statements were voluntary and therefore admissible and whether he was denied effective assistance of counsel because of his trial counsel's failure to object to the admission into evidence of two exhibits. Satter v. Solem, 434 N.W.2d 725 (S.D.), cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1091, 109 S.Ct. 2432, 104 L.Ed.2d 989 (1989) (Satter III). After reexamining the issue, the Supreme Court found that Satter's statements were involuntary and remanded the case to the habeas court for further consideration of the statements in light of the "fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine" announced in Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 83 S.Ct. 407, 9 L.Ed.2d 441 (1963). Satter III, 434 N.W.2d at 728. On remand, the habeas court denied relief but the Supreme Court again reversed. Satter v. Solem, 458 N.W.2d 762, 764 (S.D.1990) (Satter IV). The Supreme Court held that Satter was entitled to a new trial and accordingly vacated his conviction and remanded with instructions to grant the writ of habeas corpus. 458 N.W.2d at 770.

[¶6]In the meantime, Satter filed a petition in federal court seeking habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Satter v. Leapley, 977 F.2d 1259, 1260 (8th Cir.1992) (Satter V). In his habeas petition, Satter claimed that there was insufficient evidence to prove a depraved mind element of the murder charges and insufficient evidence to negate his self-defense assertion. 977 F.2d at 1261. The habeas court2 found that his claim was procedurally barred and the Eighth Circuit affirmed. Id. at 1261, 1263. In doing so, the Court agreed with the habeas court that Satter had procedurally defaulted his deficiency of the evidence claim by failing to pursue the same in state post-conviction proceedings. Id. at 1262-63. The Court also noted that Satter's underlying claim, even if not procedurally barred, did not entitled him to habeas relief because the Double Jeopardy Clause did not preclude him from being retried. Id. at 1263-64.

[¶7]In accordance with the South Dakota Supreme Court's directives in Satter IV and following the Eighth Circuit's decision in Satter V, the State filed an Amended Information charging Satter with two counts of "depraved mind" murder in violation of SDCL 22-16-7 (1972). St.R. 486-88. Subsequently, Satter was arraigned on the Amended Information and tried by a jury in Watertown, South Dakota. St.R. 695-98; T.Tr. 2-995. On November 9, 1993, a Codington County jury found Satter guilty of both "depraved mind" murder charges. St.R. 693-94; T.Tr. 993-95. That same day,3 Satter was sentenced to serve two concurrent life imprisonment terms. St.R. 695-98; T.Tr. 995-96.

[¶8]Satter appealed, and the South Dakota Supreme Court affirmed, in a unanimous decision handed down on January 31, 1996. State v. Satter, 1996 SD 9, 543 N.W.2d 249, (Satter VI). Satter then filed a pro se petition under § 2254 for a writ of habeas corpus and supporting memorandum in federal court, alleging, inter alia, that he had been denied "due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution" because of "[l]ack of notice of the crime

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charged."4 R. 1. The District Court granted Satter leave to proceed in forma pauperis, denied his motion for appointment of counsel and then referred the matter to this Court for handling. R. 10, 17.

FACTS

[¶9]A detailed version of the facts leading up to and resulting in Satter's 1974 convictions is set forth in Satter I, 90 S.D. at 486-489, 242 N.W.2d at 150-52. The following is a synopsized rendition of the facts surrounding Satter's 1993 convictions and is offered to provide an appropriate backdrop for his habeas claim.

[¶10]On August 20, 1972, Satter went to a trailer house occupied by Kent Harold Engle and Jerry Wayne Bowling, located on Pelican Lake, in Codington County, South Dakota. T.Tr. 859-63, 890-91. He took with him a .22 caliber revolver and nude photographs of his sister, Marianne Satter, which he had earlier found in Engle's car. Id. at 855-63, 890-91, 894-95, 897. Upon reaching the trailer, he entered without knocking and shot Engle, his sister's boyfriend, and Engle's cousin, Bowling, multiple times, killing both of them. Id. at 685-89, 692, 722-23, 859-68, 898-99, 901-06. After doing so, he ran out the front door but returned the following afternoon to clean up, put Engle's and Bowling's bodies in the bathroom of the trailer and hide their guns. Id. at 868-69, 874-75, 908. Later that same evening, he again returned to the trailer, retrieved the two bodies, put them into his car and then...

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12 practice notes
  • Lemeshko v. Wrona, No. 03-CV-72042-DT.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • 9 April 2004
    ...Cir.1994). If no evidentiary hearing is necessary, the appointment of counsel in a habeas case remains discretionary. Satter v. Class, 976 F.Supp. 879, 885 Page 788 Counsel may be appointed, in exceptional cases, for a prisoner appearing pro se in a habeas action. Johnson v. Howard, 20 F.Su......
  • Picardi v. United States, CIV. 15-5050-JLV
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • 25 September 2018
    ...a claim presented in [lower] court must be 'the substantial equivalent' of that relied upon in the federal petition." Satter v. Class, 976 F. Supp. 879, 887 (D.S.D. 1997) (referencing Picard, 404 U.S. at 278; Schneider v. Delo, 85 F.3d 335, 339 (8th Cir. 1996)).Page 30 Picardi's assertion t......
  • Thomas v. United States, 3:12-CR-00119-BJB-CHL-1
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • 11 February 2022
    ...ability to investigate and present clams, the existence of conflicting testimony, and any other relevant factors.” Satter v. Class, 976 F.Supp. 879, 885 (D.S.D. 1997). There is a limited statutory right to appointed counsel in a section 2255 proceeding where either the court has determined ......
  • Ridgeway v. Kentucky, CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:12CV-P149-R
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • 13 February 2013
    ...to investigate andPage 3present claims, the existence of conflicting testimony, and any other relevant factors." Satter v. Class, 976 F. Supp. 879, 885 (D.S.D. 1997). The request for appointment of counsel is premature. Since Ridgeway has not filed a § 2254 petition and therefore no respons......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Lemeshko v. Wrona, No. 03-CV-72042-DT.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
    • 9 April 2004
    ...Cir.1994). If no evidentiary hearing is necessary, the appointment of counsel in a habeas case remains discretionary. Satter v. Class, 976 F.Supp. 879, 885 Page 788 Counsel may be appointed, in exceptional cases, for a prisoner appearing pro se in a habeas action. Johnson v. Howard, 20 F.Su......
  • Picardi v. United States, CIV. 15-5050-JLV
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • 25 September 2018
    ...a claim presented in [lower] court must be 'the substantial equivalent' of that relied upon in the federal petition." Satter v. Class, 976 F. Supp. 879, 887 (D.S.D. 1997) (referencing Picard, 404 U.S. at 278; Schneider v. Delo, 85 F.3d 335, 339 (8th Cir. 1996)).Page 30 Picardi's assertion t......
  • Thomas v. United States, 3:12-CR-00119-BJB-CHL-1
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • 11 February 2022
    ...ability to investigate and present clams, the existence of conflicting testimony, and any other relevant factors.” Satter v. Class, 976 F.Supp. 879, 885 (D.S.D. 1997). There is a limited statutory right to appointed counsel in a section 2255 proceeding where either the court has determined ......
  • Ridgeway v. Kentucky, CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:12CV-P149-R
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of Kentucky
    • 13 February 2013
    ...to investigate andPage 3present claims, the existence of conflicting testimony, and any other relevant factors." Satter v. Class, 976 F. Supp. 879, 885 (D.S.D. 1997). The request for appointment of counsel is premature. Since Ridgeway has not filed a § 2254 petition and therefore no respons......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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