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Cade v. Goodwin

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

February 13, 2018






         Mickey Lee Cade (“Petitioner”) was arrested in Caddo Parish in connection with two home invasions. A resident of each home was shot, and one of the victims died. Petitioner accepted a plea bargain offer and entered pleas of guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery, for which he received 30-year concurrent sentences. Petitioner did not file an appeal, but he did pursue some issues in a post-conviction application in state court. He now seeks federal habeas corpus relief. For the reasons that follow, it is recommended that his petition be denied.

         Relevant Facts

         Evidence in the record indicates that Petitioner and his wife lived in Shreveport, and Petitioner was engaged in the drug business. On March 14, 2011, Petitioner and a co-defendant forced their way into the home of Delon Williams. Petitioner's wife said that Petitioner owed Williams money for drugs. Williams was shot in the stomach, and he died the next day.

         Petitioner and two co-defendants broke into another home in Shreveport on March 15, 2011. They were wearing masks, and they took items of value from two women in the home. One of the women was shot by a robber, but the State did not believe that Petitioner was the one who fired the shot. That victim survived the shooting.

         Petitioner was represented by Kurt Goins, an experienced attorney with the Caddo Parish Indigent Defender Board. Goins sought discovery, filed a motion in limine, and otherwise defended the case. At one point he filed a motion to be relieved as counsel because of a possible conflict due to state witnesses having previously been represented by the ID Board. The State urged that the prior representations were remote in time. Tr. 396, 404. It is not clear whether the ruling is in the record, but it appears the court denied the motion.

         Petitioner's wife, Felicia Wills, left Petitioner after the crimes and moved out of state. She testified at a hearing to perpetuate her testimony. Wills incriminated Petitioner in the crimes. For example, she said he returned home the night of the first shooting “disturbed” and told the family to sleep on the floor because Delon was shot. She also testified that she saw Petitioner and his co-defendants in possession of items taken from the second home. Petitioner was bloody and had scratches on him, and he told her that he had to run through some bushes after one of his co-defendants shot a woman. On cross-examination, defense counsel got Wills to say that police told her that they had phone records to implicate her and that they could take away her children and send her to jail for 10 years if she continued to cover up for Petitioner. Tr. 533-61.

         Petitioner appeared in court with counsel in June 2013. The State announced a plea agreement whereby Petitioner would plead guilty to armed robbery and manslaughter, with 30 year sentences on each count to run concurrently. The State agreed not to file a multiple offender bill (despite prior convictions for burglary and armed robbery) and said it would dismiss charges of illegal use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The State presented a factual basis on both counts, and the court engaged Petitioner in a full Boykin colloquy. Petitioner agreed that it was his decision to plead guilty, and the court found that he did so freely and voluntarily. Tr. 612-18.

         Petitioner argued in a post-conviction application that trial counsel was ineffective for various reasons, such as not adopting pro se motions filed by Petitioner, not moving to suppress the allegedly coerced statements of Petitioner's wife, and untimeliness of the prosecution. Tr. 671. The trial court cited the plea agreement and found that the court could not address the claims in light of it. Tr. 716-17. The state appellate court summarily denied a writ application, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana did the same. Tr. 825, 879. Petitioner's claims before the appellate courts were not always consistent with the ones presented to the district court.


         A. Introduction

         Petitioner's memorandum in support of his federal habeas petition lists four claims: (1) no appointment of counsel to represent him on his post-conviction application, (2) ineffective assistance of trial counsel, (3) denial of a motion to quash the indictment, and (4) denial of a motion to suppress his wife's testimony. Some of the claims may not have been properly exhausted by presenting them at each ...

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