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.

King v. Bickell

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 30, 2017

ROBERT KING, III, Petitioner,
v.
TABB BICKELL, Respondent.

          SAPORITO, MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM

          A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

         Presently before the Court is the Report & Recommendation (“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Saporito (Doc. 26) to a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus (Doc. 1) filed by Petitioner Robert King, III. Magistrate Judge Saporito recommends that the petition be denied and dismissed, and that the Court decline to issue a certificate of appealability. For the reasons that follow, the Magistrate Judge's R&R will be adopted.

         I. Background

         The relevant facts and procedural history can be summarized as follows: King was convicted by a jury of third-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and three counts of recklessly endangering another person on January 14, 2009. Commonwealth v. King, Docket No. CP-67-CR-0000716-2008 (York County C.C.P.). On March 30, 2009, King was sentenced to an aggregate prison term of 27 to 54 years. (Doc. 12-2, at ¶ 483.) The Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed King's conviction on direct appeal, Commonwealth v. King, 13 A.3d 979 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2010) (table decision), and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied his petition for allocatur on March 2, 2011, Commonwealth v. King, 17 A.3d 1252 (Pa. 2011) (table decision). (See Doc. 12-2, at ¶ 617-46, 650.)

         On March 28, 2011, King filed a pro se petition pursuant to the Pennsylvania Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”) in the York County Court of Common Pleas. Commonwealth v. King, Docket No. CP-67-CR-0000716-2008 (York County C.C.P.). Counsel was appointed to represent King, and an evidentiary hearing was held before the PCRA court on June 1, 2011. (Doc. 12-2, at ¶ 661-703.) The PCRA court denied King's petition. (Id. at RR700; see also Id. at RR714-22.) On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed the denial, Commonwealth v. King, 48 A.3d 476 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2012) (table decision), and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied King's petition for allocatur on September 10, 2012, Commonwealth v. King, 53 A.3d 50 (Pa. 2012) (table decision). (See Doc. 12-2, at ¶ 727-34, 738.)

         King filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on August 5, 2013. (Doc. 1.) On November 6, 2013, Respondent filed his answer to the petition (Doc. 12; see also Doc. 13), and King filed his reply on December 26, 2013 (Doc. 17). Liberally construing King's pro se petition, the Magistrate Judge determined that King asserted twenty-one (21) claims for relief:

(1) The trial court erred in denying King's motion to suppress a purportedly unduly suggestive photo array and subsequent in-court identification by witnesses tainted by the photo array;
(2) King's conviction for third-degree murder, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment was based on insufficient evidence as a matter of law because the evidence failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted with malice aforethought or that he did not act in self-defense when he shot the victim;
(3) King's conviction for third-degree murder, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment was against the greater weight of the evidence because the evidence failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted with malice aforethought or that he did not act in self-defense when he shot the victim;
(4) The trial court abused its discretion in admitting autopsy photographs over King's objection;
(5) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in trial proceedings because his trial counsel failed to investigate and present testimony by character witnesses in his defense;
(6) King was denied effective assistance of counsel on direct appeal because his appellate counsel failed to submit copies of the purportedly unduly suggestive photo array for inclusion in the certified record on appeal, causing the Superior Court to dismiss the underlying claim of trial error on the ground that it had been waived;
(7) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in trial proceedings because his trial counsel failed to object and move for a mistrial when a prosecution witness testified about a hearsay statement by the deceased victim, calling King and his brother “stick-up kids, ” in violation of a pretrial suppression order;
(8) King was denied a fair trial by prosecutorial misconduct because the prosecution failed to instruct its witnesses to avoid testifying about a hearsay statement by the deceased victim, calling King and his brother “stick-up kids, ” in violation of a pretrial suppression order;
(9) The trial court erred in failing to declare a mistrial sua sponte when prosecution witnesses testified about a hearsay statement by the deceased victim, calling King and his brother “stick-up kids, ” in violation of a pretrial suppression order;
(10) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to “appropriately” consult with him regarding other possible issues to be raised, failed to supplement King's PCRA petition with unspecified issues counsel might have identified through such consultation, and failed to adequately explain the law governing PCRA proceedings;
(11) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel based on trial counsel's purportedly erroneous advice that King not testify in his own;
(12) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to raise a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel based on trial counsel's failure to move to suppress King's prior conviction for robbery;
(13) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to raise an ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim with respect to prosecution witness testimony about hearsay statements by the deceased victim presented at a trial, erroneously limiting this claim to preliminary hearing testimony only;
(14) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to advise him that testimony by prosecution witnesses about hearsay statements by the deceased victim violated his constitutional right to confront witnesses;
(15) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in trial proceedings because trial counsel failed to adequately interview him and his brother regarding the specific facts of the incident out of which the criminal charges against King arose;
(16) King was denied effective assistance of counsel in PCRA proceedings because PCRA counsel failed to adequately interview him and his brother regarding the specific facts of the incident out of which the criminal charges against King arose, and, as a consequence of this failure, PCRA counsel failed to raise an ineffective assistance of ...

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.