The opinion of the court was delivered by: ANDREW PECK, Magistrate Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
To the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, United States District Judge:
Pro se petitioner Karsem Williams seeks a writ of habeas corpus
from his September 7, 1995 conviction in Supreme Court, New York
County, of two counts of second degree murder and one count each
of first degree robbery and second degree criminal possession of
a weapon, and sentence (as modified) to twenty-five years to life
imprisonment. (Dkt. No. 4: Am. Pet. ¶¶ 1-5.) Williams' habeas
petition claims that: (1) he was deprived of due process by the
prosecutor's failure to disclose compensation paid to a key
prosecution witness for his testimony (Am. Pet. Att. 1 ¶ 1); (2)
he was deprived of due process when the prosecutor failed to
disclose a key witness' psychiatric history (id. ¶ 2); (3) he
was denied a fair trial by the prosecutor's failure to disclose a
key prosecution witness' criminal history (id. ¶ 3); (4) the
prosecutor violated his "constitutional duty to alert the defense and court when one of his witnesses give false
testimony" (id. ¶ 4); and (5) he was "subjected to an
ineffective assistance of counsel" by counsel's failure to
request certain hearings (id. ¶ 5).
For the reasons set forth below, Williams' petition should be
DENIED as time-barred.
Prior to trial, the prosecutor told defense counsel that
Abdullah Craft, Williams' uncle and a main prosecution witness,
had a violation conviction. (Dkt. Nos. 14-15: Trial Transcript
["Tr."] 218-19.) However, the prosecutor did not disclose the
arrest record containing the underlying details of the
conviction. (Id.) During trial, defense counsel asked the court
to require the prosecutor to turn over this information, arguing:
[The prosecutor] informs me orally that Abdullah
[C]raft was found guilty of a violation, he refuses
to turn over the print sheet which would reflect the
date, the time and the crime for which he was
originally arrested as well as possibly a docket
number which could be used which could have been
used in advance of trial for me to get the papers, so
that I could have questioned him about the underlying
facts of his arrest which I would be entitled to do.
I don't know what he was arrested for. I've only been
given information that he was only convicted of a
violation and not a crime.
The prosecutor responded: "It's my knowledge that I have an
obligation to turn over to [defense counsel] convictions of
crimes. I went beyond my obligation when I told [defense counsel]
that one of the witnesses had been arrested." (Tr. 221.) The judge denied the motion, telling Williams' counsel that "on
the basis of the knowledge you now have, in good faith, you can
cross-examine since it goes to the issue of credibility. You can
cross-examine any of these witnesses on the area of their arrest
and convictions." (Tr. 222.)
The Prosecution's Case at Trial: Overview
On December 5, 1993, the body of New York City Department of
Corrections Officer Anthony Villages was found wrapped in a rug
and bound with cable on Lenox Avenue in upper Manhattan. (Leslie:
Tr. 230-31, 235.) During the subsequent investigation, police
detectives learned that shortly before his death, Villages had
told a friend, Rachel Orange, that he was going to meet with a
man he met on a train earlier that day named "Dayquan." (Orange:
Tr. 186-87.) Before leaving to meet "Dayquan," Villages gave
Orange a piece of paper with the address of an apartment near the
park where Villages' body was found as well as a telephone number
associated with the apartment. (Orange: Tr. 189.)
Detectives determined that the apartment belonged to the mother
of Williams' daughter. (Leslie: Tr. 249-50.) While executing a
search warrant at the apartment, police found carpet fibers
matching the rug wrapped around Villages' body and wire similar
to that used to bind the rug. (Leslie: Tr. 243-44, 246, 248.)
They also found three photographs of Williams with the word
"Dayquan" written on the back, and Williams' birth certificate.
(Leslie: Tr. 244-46, 248-49, 275-76.) Six months later, on May 14, 1994, Williams' uncle Abdullah
Craft told police that Williams had evaded police by staying in
Craft's apartment, and that during his stay, Williams confessed
to killing Villages. (Craft: Tr. 404-06.) Later that day, police
arrested Williams and charged him with robbing and murdering
Villages. (Court: Tr. 584-87.)
At trial, the prosecution presented three witnesses who heard
Williams confess to killing Villages. Both Craft and his
common-law wife Anita Pearson testified that while Williams
stayed in their apartment, he repeatedly discussed the killing in
graphic detail. (Craft: Tr. 385-88; Pearson: Tr. 494, 502-05.)
Kim Beverly, a neighbor with whom Williams had sexual relations,
presented similar testimony. (Beverly: Tr. 540-43, 548, 571.)
Direct Examination of Abdullah Craft
During his direct examination, the prosecutor questioned Craft about his
disciplinary record during his service in the Vietnam War:
Q: And can you tell the jury about the circumstances
around which you were court marshalled; what were you
charged with and what happened?
A: Well, you know, after I was serving in the bush
after several months, there come periods of time when
you get paranoid or whatever like that and we had
loss a lot of men on one occasion. And you tend to
have someone you look up to, what they call a mother
or platoon. They kind of support you. And we loss
them. I was kind of depressed about that and other
little things. And one day I decided I wasn't ready
to go back out and I refused to go back out. I was
charged with disobeying a direct order.
(Craft: Tr. 367.) Craft testified that after his court-marshal,
he served a sentence of four months hard labor in Vietnam and at
a naval base in New Hampshire. (Craft: Tr. 368-69.) Craft also
testified that on another occasion he was charged with being AWOL for not
returning to his unit on time. (Craft: Tr. 369.)
The prosecutor next asked Craft the first of many questions
about his history of mental illness and drug abuse: Craft stated
he was first institutionalized after a suicide attempt in 1986
when he was a cocaine addict and was diagnosed with major
depression. (Craft: Tr. 373-74.) Craft testified that his drug
and alcohol use continued through 1993, when he moved to the
Brooklyn apartment where Williams stayed after the murder:
Q: And would it be fair to say that while you were
[at the Brooklyn address] you had a heavy crack
Q. You smoke[d] a lot of crack, smoked it frequently?
A: I smoked the pipe frequently, not everyday, but
Q: And did you also drink at that time?
A: Sure I drank beer. Every time I had money to buy
beer, I would drink beer.
(Craft: Tr. 381-82.)
Craft testified that in December 1993, his brother Hassan told
him that Williams "had a body" and needed to hide in his
apartment. (Id. at 382-83.) During his stay, Williams described
to Craft his role in the Villages murder:
Q: And in the course of his stay with you and his
visit with you at Morgan Avenue did he tell you why
he needed to stay at your house? A: Yeah, he told me. I got all the details over a
period of time, not necessarily in the sequence that
Q: What did he tell you?
A: Well, he had told me he had shot a corrections
Q: And did he give you any details as to how that
A: Well, from what he told me was that he had met the
officer on the train. I don't know whether he was by
himself or not because he never said so. And the
officer was taken back to [Williams' girlfriend's]
. . .
And the officer got and got in the apartment from
what I understand and they, you know he was sitting
at the table and he was fidgeting like he was
reaching for something, so he says, and made him a
little edgy and he fired a shot in the back of his
Q: Who fired a shot?
A: Karsem [Williams].
(Craft: Tr. 386-87.)
After Craft related detailed statements made by Williams and
Williams' friend Eric White*fn1
describing the sequence of
events leading to Villages death and the disposal of his body,
the prosecutor again returned to the issue of Craft's drug use
and mental health:
Q: During [March 1994], would you deceive people to
A: Yes I would. There was times, basically times I
asked for money, I did what I was supposed to do with
it. Still boils back to crack because I originally
had the money, should have taken care of it so it was
still just asking for money for crack.
Q: And would you say that crack was dominating your
life at that point?
A: Definitely. Without a doubt.
Q: Now can you tell the jury about how you took your,
attempted to take your own life? First of all one or
A: There were two attempts.
. . .
Q: What did you do?
A: I cut myself but I didn't cut myself as bad as I
knew I could. The second time I was in a very deep
episode and you know, I was all for it. I was
prepared to go. I opened my arms up really bad, lost
a lot of blood. But its hard to explain but its like
not facing the situation but that is what it came to.
(Craft: Tr. 399-400.) Craft testified that his second suicide
attempt resulted in part from a rumor that Williams "went to bed
with [Craft's] common law wife." (Craft: Tr. 400.)
After Craft returned from the hospital following the second
suicide attempt, Williams and Craft's brother Hassan confronted