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Robertson v. Vannoy

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

December 16, 2019

ROY ROBERTSON, Petitioner
v.
DARREL VANNOY, Respondent

          JUDGE S. MAURICE HICKS, JR.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1) filed by pro se Petitioner Roy Robertson (“Robertson”) (#716382). Robertson is an inmate in the custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. Robertson challenges his conviction and sentence imposed in the First Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish.

         Because Robertson's Petition (Doc. 1) is timely and his claims appear exhausted based on the documents provided, the Petition (Doc. 1) should be SERVED on Respondent.

         I. Background

         Robertson was convicted of aggravated rape of a person under the age of 12 in violation of La. R.S. 14:42. State v. Robertson, 51, 521 (La.App. 2 Cir. 8/16/17, 1); 243 So.3d 1196. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Id. Robertson's conviction was affirmed on appeal, but the life sentence was modified to a term of 20 years imprisonment without restriction on parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Id. Robertson sought no further review on direct appeal.

         Robertson filed an application for post-conviction relief on the grounds that: (1) he was denied the right to appellate review and a trial transcript; (2) he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his attorney did not hire a child sexual abuse expert; (3) the prosecutor committed misconduct during the opening and closing arguments denying Robertson of a fair trial; (4) the state was allowed 13 peremptory challenges during voire dire; (5) peremptory strikes were used in a discriminatory manner; (6) he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to properly investigate and interview witnesses prior to trial, subpoena records, and object to remarks by the prosecutor; (7) his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to raise crucial issues on appeal; (8) there was insufficient evidence to convict him; and (9) the statute of limitations had expired. (Doc. 1-3, pp. 48-53). The trial court denied Robertson's application. (Doc. 1-4, pp. 32-37).

         The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal denied writs. (Doc. 1-4, p. 73). The Louisiana Supreme Court denied writs, finding that: “Applicant fails to show that he received ineffective assistance of counsel under the standard of Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). As to his remaining claims, applicant fails to satisfy his post-conviction burden of proof. La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.2.” State v. Robertson, 2018-1807 (La. 10/15/19); 280 So.3d 559.

         In his § 2254 Petition, Robertson raises the same claims presented in the state courts.[1]

         II. Service of Process

         THE CLERK IS DIRECTED to prepare summons and serve a copy of the Petition (Doc. 1) and this Order on:

- the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana and the respondent warden, via Certified Mail, and;
- the District Attorney for the First Judicial District Court, Caddo Parish, where Robertson was convicted and ...

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