United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ECF No. 1 --- Dismissed and Denied
and Recommendation, ECF No. 11 -- Approved and Adopted
Motion to Object to the Report and Recommendation, ECF No. 18
Motions, ECF Nos. 19, 20 ---- Denied
F. LEESON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eligah Hayes filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction
in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County for
attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and criminal
conspiracy. United States Magistrate Judge Linda K. Caracappa
prepared a Report and Recommendation (R&R) which
recommends that Petitioner's petition be dismissed with
prejudice as meritless. Petitioner has filed objections.
After de novo review, this Court adopts the R&R in full
as explained herein, overrules Petitioner's objections,
and dismisses the habeas petition.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
October 16, 2008, Petitioner and two coconspirators
approached Vernon Kulb III with guns drawn. When they reached
Kulb, co-defendant Craig Woodard struck Kulb in the head with
his gun. Woodard proceeded to go through Kulb's pockets
while Petitioner held a gun in Kulb's face. Woodard then
shot Kulb in the back and the three men fled. Following a
joint jury trial with Woodward, on June 11, 2010, Petitioner
was convicted of attempted murder, aggravated assault,
robbery, and criminal conspiracy. See State Court
Docket; Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County 10,
CP-51-CR-0006331-2009. In July 2010, Petitioner was sentenced
to a term of twenty to forty years of imprisonment.
Id. at 11. Petitioner filed post-verdict motions and
appealed his case through the Pennsylvania state court
system. Id. at 11-13. This judgment became final on
April 24, 2012.
2012, Petitioner filed a pro se petition for
post-conviction relief, pursuant to the Post Conviction
Relief Act (PCRA), 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 9541-9551.
See State Court Docket; Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia County 13, CP-51-CR-0006331-2009. Petitioner
filed an amended pro se petition for PCRA relief in
January 2013. Id. Appointed PCRA counsel filed a
second amended PCRA petition in July 2014. Id. at
14. The PCRA court gave notice of the court's intention
to dismiss and the Petitioner filed a pro se
response. Id. at 15. The response and petition were
formally dismissed in June 2015. Id.
Petitioner's PCRA counsel filed a notice of appeal to the
Pennsylvania Superior Court. Id. On appeal to the
Superior Court, Petitioner raised the following claims:
(1) Did the PCRA Court err in failing to find trial counsel
ineffective for failing to present two additional alibi
(2) Did the PCRA Court err in failing to find trial counsel
ineffective for failing to present the same witnesses during
(3) Did the PCRA Court err in failing to find trial counsel
ineffective for failing to request DNA test of clothing found
near the scene of the crime?
F, Pet'r's Br. on PCRA Appeal, ECF No. 9 (beginning
on page 120). The Superior Court affirmed the PCRA
court's dismissal on June 20, 2017. Commonwealth v.
Hayes, 174 A.3d 85 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2017). The Petitioner
filed a petition for allowance of appeal, but the Supreme
Court of Pennsylvania denied this request on December 19,
2017. Commonwealth v. Hayes, 644 Pa. 357 (2017).
filed the instant pro se petition for a writ of
habeas corpus and request for an evidentiary hearing on
January 16, 2018. In this petition, Petitioner raised the
(1) That trial counsel was ineffective for failing to present
additional alibi witnesses.
(2) That PCRA counsel was ineffective for failing to argue
trial counsel's ineffectiveness for not properly raising
on direct appeal the inconsistency of the verdict at trial.
(3) That the trial court violated Petitioner's right
under the Confrontation Clause of ...