Williams v. Bowersox
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 15 MOTION for Reconsideration re 14 Judgment - (Case) filed by Petitioner Lloyd Williams ; IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of petitioner Lloyd Williams for reconsideration [Doc. # 15 ] is denied.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 11/16/12. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Case No. 4:07-CV-1093 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the motion of petitioner Lloyd Williams to
reopen and reconsider his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
On June 4, 2007, Williams filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, in which he asserted four grounds for relief. On December 1,
2009, the Court denied the petition, concluding that claims 2, 3 and 4 failed on the
merits and that petitioner had procedurally defaulted claim 1 by failing to raise it on
direct appeal. Petitioner now contends that the Court should reopen this case, based
on the recent Supreme Court decision in Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S. Ct. 1309 (2012).
In Martinez, the Supreme Court modified the rule of Coleman v. Thompson, 501
U.S. 722 (1991), that an attorney’s errors in post-conviction proceedings do not qualify
as cause for a procedural default. Under Martinez, “inadequate assistance of counsel
at initial-review collateral proceedings may establish cause for a prisoner’s procedural
default of a claim of ineffective assistance at trial.”
132 S. Ct. at 1315.
defaulted claim, Williams asserted that the jury instruction on self-defense was
improper because it included “initial aggressor” language when there was no evidence
that he was the initial aggressor, and thus the instruction did not conform with MAI-CR
The Court need not determine whether petitioner can cure his default under
Martinez because the claim fails on its merits. The evidence at trial showed that, while
driving on the highway at 3:00 in the morning, Williams began to tailgate another car
and flashed it with his headlights. He sped up to the side of the car and, at one point,
bumped the back of the car, causing minor damage. He then pulled into a gas station
with the other car. In the ensuing altercation with the occupants of the other car,
defendant stabbed one of them in the chest. (Resp. Ex. 7 at 1-3) Thus, contrary to
Williams’ assertion, there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s inclusion
of the “initial aggressor” language in the jury instruction.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of petitioner Lloyd Williams for
reconsideration [Doc. #15] is denied.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 16th day of November, 2012.
Jury Instruction 7 stated in relevant part: “A person can lawfully use force to
protect himself against an unlawful attack. However, an initial aggressor, that is, one
who first attacks another, is not justified in using force to protect himself from the
counter-attack which he provoked.” This instruction was based on MAI-CR 3d 306.06.
Note 4(a) provides that the initial aggressor language should be used “[i]f there is
evidence the defendant was the initial aggressor,” whereas, the initial aggressor
language should not be used “[i]f there is no evidence indicating the defendant was the
initial aggressor or provoked the incident. . .”
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