September 28, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:11-cv-07484 -
Sharon Johnson Coleman, Judge.
Kanne, Sykes, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
Hamilton, Circuit Judge.
days after his release from prison in 1995, petitioner Larry
Frazier entered the apartment of a sixty-two-year-old woman
and attempted to rob her at gunpoint. For his troubles, he
received a bullet wound. Frazier was convicted of home
invasion and sentenced to sixty years. The sentence was
increased because of the victim's age. After failing to
obtain relief from the conviction and sentence in the state
courts, Frazier sought federal habeas corpus relief under 28
U.S.C. § 2254. He now appeals the district court's
denial of his petition. We affirm.
sole claim on appeal is that his trial lawyer was ineffective
by failing to warn him he faced a potentially longer sentence
based on the victim's age. To reach the merits of
Frazier's claim, we would need to overcome several
procedural obstacles, but one is decisive at the most basic
procedural level. The one claim he pursues on appeal was not
presented in the district court. "[A]rguments in a
federal habeas petition which were not raised to the district
court are not properly raised for the first time on
appeal." Mertz v. Williams, 771 F.3d 1035, 1043
(7th Cir. 2014), citing Sanders v. Cotton, 398 F.3d
572, 583 (7th Cir. 2005).
Factual and Procedural Background
The Home Invasion
accept the facts determined in the state courts. 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(e)(1). At trial, Mary Holman testified that she
lived alone in a street-level apartment in Calumet City,
Illinois. On an early morning in September 1995, she had left
the door to her home open as she carted in items from her
had been released recently from prison after serving a
sentence for robbery. Seeing Holman's open door that
morning, he entered her ground-floor apartment with a coat
over his hand. He told her, "I'm gonna shoot you,
give me your money, " and ordered her to lie down.
Holman replied, "I can't, Mister, I got
arthritis." She also had no money to give him. Holman
tried to stall Frazier by saying she had money stashed around
the apartment. She warned Frazier that her husband-a husband
she did not have-would be right back.
Holman started rummaging through drawers, Frazier-also
rummaging through drawers-found a .38 caliber revolver in a
nightstand. He threatened Holman again: if she did not give
him some money, he would shoot her. Finding a cookie tin full
of pennies, Holman handed it over. Frazier took a look and
dumped the contents of the tin on the floor. He again
threatened to kill her if she did not come up with some real
knowing what else to do, Holman grabbed the gun with both
hands and struggled with Frazier. The gun fired, but Holman
was not injured. Still, she failed to wrest the gun from
Frazier, who now held it to her head. With no other option,
she pled for her life, claiming to know where her fictional
husband kept the real money. Frazier gave Holman one last
chance to search through a table for money, and he demanded
her car keys. She tossed them his way, but he did not pick
then saw that Frazier was bleeding. Seeing her chance to
escape, she ran from the apartment. Luckily, she found two
policemen in a nearby alley and "just ran up to [th]em
and fell in their arms." The police found Frazier in
Holman's apartment. He was slumped over with a jacket
pressed against his chest.