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Walker v. Cain

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

December 2, 2014

NATÉ WALKER (#433462)
v.
N. BURL CAIN, ET AL

MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT

STEPHEN C. RIEDLINGER, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is the Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody filed by Nate Walker.[1]

For the reasons which follow, the petition should be denied.

I. State Court Procedural History

A. Trial Court

Following a bench trial the petitioner was found guilty of one count armed robbery with a firearm in the Twenty-third Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ascension, Louisiana on June 16, 2009. Petitioner was adjudicated a third felony habitual offender and was sentenced to a 66 year term of imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

B. Direct Appeal

Petitioner appealed asserting a single ground for relief: the trial court erred in finding the defendant competent to stand trial.

The First Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the petitioner's conviction, habitual offender adjudication, and sentence. State of Louisiana v. Nate Walker, 2009-1741 (La.App. 1st Cir. 2/17/10), 30 So.3d 286 (Table).

Petitioner sought supervisory review in the Louisiana Supreme Court, which denied review on October 15, 2010. State of Louisiana Nate Walker, 2010-0523 (La. 10/15/10).

C. Post-Conviction Relief

Petitioner signed an application for post-conviction relief ("PCRA") on October 18, 2011 and it was filed on October 24, 2011. Petitioner asserted the following grounds for relief:

1. The trial court erred when it failed to determine whether the petitioner knowingly and intelligently understood he was waiving his right to trial by jury.
2. He was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to present the defense promised in his opening statement.
3. He was denied effective assistance of counsel when trial counsel failed to present the defense regarding a promise he made to the jury during opening statement and when he failed to object to an improper waiver of the petitioner's right to a trial by jury.

On January 25, 2012, the petitioner was granted leave of court to supplement his PCRA. On March 2, 2012, the petitioner filed a Supplemental Claim for Post Conviction Relief arguing that the Bill of Information was defective. On April 24, 2012, the petitioner's supplemental PCRA was dismissed because any claim regarding a defective Bill of Information was waived.

The trial court denied the PCRA on June 14, 2012, specifically relying on La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.4.[2] Petitioner sought review in the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, which denied review on the showing made. State of Louisiana v. Nate Walker, 2012-1343 (La.App. 1st Cir. 9/12/12).

Petitioner sought review by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which also denied review. State ex rel. Nate Walker v. State of Louisiana, ...


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