Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Frazier v. Varga

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

December 1, 2016

Larry Frazier, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
John E. Varga, Warden, Respondent-Appellee.

          Argued September 28, 2016

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:11-cv-07484 - Sharon Johnson Coleman, Judge.

          Before Kanne, Sykes, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.

          Hamilton, Circuit Judge.

         Just 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.

         Frazier's 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).

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         A. The Home Invasion

         We 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 car.

         Frazier 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.

         As 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 money.

         Not 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 them up.

         Holman 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.

         B. Frazier's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.