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Robinson v. Bradt

United States District Court, Second Circuit

May 31, 2013


Latee Robinson Din# 06-A-1498 Clinton Correctional Facility Dannemora, NY, Petitioner (Pro Se).

Nany D. Killian, Assistant District Attorney, Bronx District Attorney's Office, Bronx, NY, for Respondent.


SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.


Latee Robinson ("petitioner, " or "Robinson, ") brings this pro se habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("section 2254") ("the "Petition"), challenging his state court conviction entered on March 3, 2006, following a jury trial in New York State Supreme Court, Bronx County. Petitioner was convicted of murder in the second degree and was sentenced to twenty-five years to life imprisonment.

From what can be discerned from the Petition, including the 167-page addendum, Robinson challenges his conviction on seventeen separate grounds.[1] For the following reasons, the Petition is denied as time-barred.


A. The Offense Conduct

On December 7, 2003, Robinson was at the home of his friend, Fabian Lofton, then fifteen years old. Fabian lived with his mother, Margaret Lofton, his younger brother, his thirty-four year old cousin, Sean Riley, and a family friend and his three daughters. Robinson had slept over the night before and stated that he had never had any problems or confrontations with Riley.[2] Robinson had asked Fabian to borrow a sweater and was given one that belonged to Riley. Robinson then asked for a cigarette, which was apparently taken from Margaret Lofton's room. Riley became upset by these requests and yelled at Robinson.[3]

The following evening, on December 8, 2003, Robinson was again at the Lofton's home. Ronald Warner, Fabian's father, was present.[4] Robinson, who appeared very agitated and upset, loudly proclaimed in front of Warner and Fabian that he was going to kill Riley. When asked by Warner with "what, " Robinson answered "with my hammer, " and pulled out a loaded, black and silver.38 caliber "long nose" revolver and stuck it in Warner's face.[5] After attempting to calm Robinson down, Warner left the room while Fabian, Robinson and Margaret remained in the kitchen. Robinson ate dinner with the gun in his lap.[6] When Riley returned home, he saw Robinson with the gun and asked him what he was going to do with it. Stating "[t]his is what I'm going to do, "[7] Robinson held the revolver to Riley's left cheek and fired, killing him instantly.[8] Crime Scene Unit Detective Lawrence Walsh established that there had been no evidence of a struggle because Riley did not have any gun powder residue on his hands.[9]

On December 31, 2003, by Indictment Number 5276/2003, the Bronx County Grand Jury charged petitioner with Murder in the Second Degree (two counts) (Penal Law §125.25[1], [2]), Manslaughter in the First Degree (Penal Law § 125.20[2]), and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 265.03[2]).

B. The Defense Case

At his trial, petitioner offered the testimony of Alfred Pennill ("Alfred"), who was temporarily living in Margaret Lofton's house with his three daughters at the time of the murder. Alfred, who had witnessed the December 7 argument between Riley and Robinson, testified that he was awakened by a gunshot but did not see anyone exit the kitchen. When he entered the kitchen, Alfred did not see anyone other than the victim.[10] Jessica Pennill ("Jessica"), Alfred's daughter, also testified for the defense.[11] She claimed that on the night of the murder, she saw no one agitated or angry waiting in the kitchen.[12] She also did not see Robinson with a gun or hear any mention of a gun. Jessica then claimed that she saw Riley enter the kitchen, seemingly angry, carrying a gun in his hand.[13] She claimed that she heard struggling and then the sound of a gunshot. When the police arrived, Jessica said she felt pressured into giving a statement and therefore gave an inaccurate account so that the police "would just leave her alone."[14]

Robinson gave the following testimony in his own defense. He was in possession of a fake gun which he showed to Warner on the evening of the murder.[15] Riley entered the house with a gun in hand.[16] Robinson told Riley he did not want any problems with him and that his gun was fake. Riley then hit him in the face with his gun, a struggle ensued, and a shot ...

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