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Todd Anthony Wilson v. Raymond Lawler

August 17, 2011

TODD ANTHONY WILSON
PETITIONER
v.
RAYMOND LAWLER, ET AL. RESPONDENTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. William Ditter, Jr., Sr. J.

MEMORANDUM

Presently before this court is a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus filed

pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by Todd Anthony Wilson, the response thereto, and Wilson's reply. Wilson, who is currently incarcerated in the State Correctional Institution in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, challenges his incarceration for robbery, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, theft, and carrying a firearm without a license. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

On November 2, 2003, Wilson was charged with numerous crimes related to the armed robbery of a grocery store owner. The state court summarized the facts leading up to his arrest as follows:

On the morning of November 1, 2003, a masked gunman entered a store owned by Davinder Singh and robbed the owner at gunpoint, the gunman escaping with a stack of mostly one-dollar bills. As the gunman fled the store, located at 269 Beech Street, the owner gave chase and ended up being shot in the shoulder by the thief. When police arrived, the victim described his assailant as a black male in his late twenties to early thirties, and further noted that the gunman was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and a ski mask. The victim added that his assailant was about five foot eleven inches tall, with a stocky build, and weighed approximately 220 to 225 pounds.

********

Later this same day, [Wilson] was arrested at his mother's residence on an unrelated warrant, and [Wilson's] mother consented to a search of her home. During the search, police located in a laundry bag belonging to [Wilson], a 38 caliber revolver with a wooden handle and two rounds missing from the five-round cylinder. Subsequent to his arrest, [Wilson] explained to officers that he had found the revolver in an alley near his house after the robbery, and he had kept it despite suspecting it had been used in a crime. When police told [Wilson] that a witness had seen him with a gun prior to the robbery, [Wilson] conceded possession of a weapon, but explained that particular weapon was "another gun" he had possessed and sold on the street.

On the morning of November 2, 2003, police served a search warrant at the residence [Wilson] shared with his girlfriend, Maria Mauras, located at 352 Beech Street, about a block and a half from the scene of the robbery, and recovered a black hooded sweatshirt from his bedroom. Mauras told officers [Wilson] had come home that morning and put the sweatshirt on the bed. She added that [Wilson] had a "serious drug problem and had recently stole her jewelry so that he could get drugs." Immediately thereafter, police charged [Wilson] with numerous offenses related to the robbery and the shooting of the grocery store owner.

Commonwealth v. Wilson, No. 385 EDA 2006, slip op. at 2-4 (Pa. Super. Sept. 11, 2006) (unpublished memorandum) (emphasis in original) (citations and footnote omitted)

On July 7, 2004, Wilson filed a motion to suppress alleging that his arrest was unlawful and seeking the exclusion of physical evidence as well as statements he had given to police during his interview. After a hearing on April 7, 2005, Wilson's motion to suppress was denied on July 2, 2005. On October 24, 2005, a jury in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County found Wilson guilty of robbery with the infliction of serious bodily injury, robbery with the threat of serious and immediate injury, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment, theft by unlawful taking of movable property, and carrying a firearm without a license. Wilson was sentenced to 22 to 47 years of imprisonment.

Wilson filed a direct appeal arguing that:

1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence found during the search of Wilson's bag by police because Wilson's mother did not have the authority to consent to the search;

2) the trial court erred in admitting the evidence found during the search of Wilson's bag because the consent given by Wilson's mother was coerced by the police;

3) the trial court erred in not suppressing Wilson's written and oral statements to police as they are tainted by the illegal search of Wilson's bags and are therefore fruits of a poisonous tree;

4) the trial court erred in finding the search warrant and attached affidavit of probable cause contained enough credible information to enable the issuing authority the ability to make an independent determination that evidence of a crime would be found at the premises sought to be searched; and

5) the trial court erred in denying Wilson's motion for judgment of acquittal as evidence presented by the Commonwealth was insufficient to support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the judgment of sentence on September 11, 2006. Commonwealth v. Wilson, No. 385 EDA 2006 (Pa. Super. Sept. 11, 2006) (unpublished memorandum). The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Wilson's petition for allowance of appeal on February 8, 2007. Commonwealth v. Wilson, No. 838 MAL 2006 (Pa. Feb. 8, 2007).

On March 1, 2007, Wilson filed a pro se petition in the state court under the Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 9541, et seq. Following the appointment of counsel, the PCRA Court held a hearing on October 9, 2007. The court denied Wilson's PCRA petition on October 11, 2007. Wilson filed an appeal claiming:

1) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to prosecutorial misconduct when the prosecutor stated facts that were not in evidence;

2) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to prosecutorial misconduct when the prosecutor misstated facts regarding the victim in closing argument;

3) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to object to prosecutorial misconduct when the prosecutor elicited "misstatements of facts" from witness Maria Mauras; and

4) ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to cross-examine a Commonwealth witness on her inconsistent statements and for failing to call Officer Keifrider as a rebuttal witness in order show that the Commonwealth's witness gave biased and false testimony.

On November 10, 2008, the Superior Court affirmed the denial of the PCRA petition. Commonwealth v. Wilson, No. 2950 EDA 2007 (Pa. Super. Nov. 10, 2008) (unpublished memorandum). Wilson's petition for allowance of appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania was denied on ...


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