United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HORNSBY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ...