Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Adams v. Lawler

September 15, 2009

RICHARD ADAMS PETITIONER
v.
RAYMOND LAWLER, ET AL. RESPONDENTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lowell A. Reed, Jr., Sr. J.

MEMORANDUM

Presently before this court is the pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 3) filed by petitioner Richard Adams ("Adams"), the response thereto (Doc. No. 11), and Adams' Reply (Doc. No. 18). Also before the court is Adams' motion for a stay of his habeas corpus petition. (Doc. No. 18). For the reasons set forth below, Adams' habeas corpus petition and his motion to stay will be denied.

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY

On May 23, 2001, Omari Gadson ("Gadson") and Adams argued over a bicycle while in front of the home of Adams' mother. (N.T. 6/9/03, 116-118).*fn1 Commonwealth witness Richard Upshur testified that Adams seemed agitated after the argument and that he waved Upshur off when he told Adams that he should "let it go." (N.T. 6/9/03, 122-123). Adams went inside his mother's house and came out a minute or so later. (N.T. 6/9/03, 121-124).Gadson drove up in a car and got out. (N.T. 6/9/03, 124-125). By this time, a group of people had gathered. (N.T. 6/9/03, 124-125). Gadson asked a friend of Adams, "[w]hy your boy have to talk to me like that[?]" (N.T. 6/9/03, 126). Adams stepped off the curb towards Gadson who was standing with his arms on the roof of the car. (N.T. 6/9/03, 125-127). When Adams' younger brother, Michael, tried to intervene, Adams punched him and told him to get out of the way. (N.T. 6/9/03, 126). Then Adams pulled a gun out of his waist band and shot Gadson. (N.T. 6/9/03, 127-128). Upshur testified that after Gadson fell, Adams stepped around the car door and shot him again before running away. (N.T. 6/9/03, 130-131). Upshur called the police. (N.T. 6/9/03, 131). Gadson was subsequently pronounced dead at Hahnemann Hospital. (N.T. 6/9/03, 87). An autopsy showed that he had sustained gunshot wounds to his right side and that the bullets had penetrated his kidney, liver, lungs and aorta. (N.T. 6/9/03, 89-90).

On July 24, 2001, Adams was arrested and confessed to killing Gadson in self-defense. At his bench trial, Adams attempted to establish an alibi defense by claiming that he was not present when the victim was shot because he had gone "down North Philly to go get some weed." (N.T. 6/10/03, at 32). Adams was convicted of first degree murder, carrying firearms without a license, carrying firearms on public streets, and possessing instruments of crime. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder conviction, and 3 terms of 21/2 to 5 years imprisonment for each of his remaining convictions, to be served concurrent to each other, but consecutive to the life sentence.

Adams filed a direct appeal challenging the weight and sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction. On April 15, 2004, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the judgment of sentence. Commonwealth v. Adams, 2137 EDA 2003 (Pa. Super. April 15, 2004) (unpublished memorandum), 852 A.2d 1242 (Pa. Super. 2004), attached as Ex. "B" to Response to Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. No. 11; hereinafter "Response"). Adams did not file a petition for allowance of appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

On March 16, 2005, Adams filed a pro se petition under Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. Con. Stat. § 9541, et seq. The PCRA court appointed counsel who filed an amended PCRA petition alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to meet or strategize with Adams before trial. Following an evidentiary hearing, the PCRA court dismissed Adams' petition. On July 13, 2007, the Superior Court affirmed the dismissal of Adams' PCRA petition. Commonwealth v. Adams, 2332 EDA 2006 (Pa. Super. July 13, 2007) (unpublished memorandum). Adams' petition for allowance of appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was denied on April 8, 2008. Commonwealth v. Adams, No. 424 EAL 2007 (Pa. April 8, 2008).

On May 16, 2008,*fn2 Adams filed a petition for a federal writ of habeas corpus in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Because Adams was attacking the conviction obtained against him in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, which is located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, his case was transferred to this Court on May 29, 2008. On August 12, 2008, Adams was directed to complete the Eastern District's "current standard form of petition as directed by Local Civil Rule 9.3(b) and Rule 2 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts." See Doc. No. 2. On August 28, 2008, Adams filed the instant habeas petition claiming:*fn3

1) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to properly investigate, interview and call possible witnesses;

2) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to properly cross-examine witnesses;*fn4

3) his conviction was obtained by the unconstitutional use of perjured and biased testimony; and

4) his conviction was obtained by the unconstitutional use of a coerced confession.

Respondents have filed a response asserting that Adams' petition is time-barred and as well he is not entitled to federal habeas relief because his claims are ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.