United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
King (“King”) was found guilty of conspiracy to
possess cocaine with intent to deliver at a jury trial in
July 2013. (Docket #11-4 at 7-8). On October 16, 2013, King
was sentenced to a term of fifteen years imprisonment.
Id. at 6. King filed an amended petition for writ of
habeas corpus on August 9, 2016. (Docket #6). The
respondent opposed the petition on January 13, 2017, and King
submitted his reply on February 10, 2017. (Docket #14 and
#15). For the reasons explained below, the petition will be
Court of Appeals opinion succinctly states the background for
this matter, so this Court will quote its opinion at length:
The State of Wisconsin charged King, an Illinois resident,
with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to deliver.
According to the complaint, King sold a large quantity of
cocaine to a Wisconsin resident who travelled to Chicago to
obtain the cocaine. King moved to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction. King argued that his only involvement
in the alleged conspiracy occurred in Illinois. The court
denied the motion, and King was bound over for trial.
At trial, the State presented evidence of the following. In
the summer of 2009, police in Green Lake County, Wisconsin,
received a tip that Emil Craig Burmeister
[(“Craig”)] was dealing cocaine in the area. As
part of the investigation into Burmeister's activities,
police received information that King was involved. King and
Burmeister are friends, and have known each other since 2006.
Burmeister travelled to Chicago approximately every two weeks
and obtained cocaine.
On August 9, 2009, Burmeister and his wife
[(“Etheena”) (collectively, the
“Burmeisters”)] drove from Green Lake County to
Chicago to meet with King. In Chicago, King facilitated the
sale of a large volume of cocaine to Burmeister. Burmeister
was arrested after he returned to Green Lake County, and
police recovered 615 grams of cocaine from Burmeister's
car. There was testimony that such quantity is inconsistent
with personal use. Additionally, Burmeister had in his car a
calculator, four cell phones, and an envelope with
abbreviations and numerical amounts, indicating orders for
cocaine and amounts that had been paid. Burmeister admitted
that he intended to distribute the cocaine to others, and
pled guilty to drug charges.
At the close of the State's evidence, King moved for a
directed verdict. He argued that there was no evidence of an
agreement between King and Burmeister as to Burmeister's
intent to deliver the cocaine to other parties. The circuit
court denied the motion. The jury found King guilty and the
circuit court entered a judgment of conviction. King appeals.
State v. King, 862 N.W.2d 903 (Table), 2015 WL
1235360 at *1 (Wis. Ct. App. 2015). For reasons explained
more fully below, the Court of Appeals affirmed King's
conviction on March 19, 2015. Id. at *4. On August
5, 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to review that
decision. (Docket #6-1 at 32).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
2254(a) permits a federal court to entertain only those
applications alleging that a person is in state custody
‘in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.'” Cullen v.
Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 181 (2011) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(a)). “As amended by [the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA)], 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 sets several limits on the power of a federal
court to grant an application for a writ of habeas corpus on
behalf of a state prisoner.” Id. As a result,
the Court may grant a writ of habeas corpus only if
the state court's decision with respect to that claim
was: (1) “contrary to…clearly established
federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United
States”; (2) “involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established Federal law, as
determined by the Supreme Court of the United States”;
or (3) “was based on an unreasonable determination of
the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state
court proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1-2);
see also Conner v. McBride, 375 F.3d 643, 648-49
(7th Cir. 2004) (citing Green v. Johnson, 116 F.3d
1115, 1121 (5th Cir. 1997)).
petition attempts to state three grounds for relief, but two
of those grounds present the same legal basis and so will be
treated together. The first is that the Wisconsin state court
lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate his crime because the drug
transaction occurred in Illinois. (Docket #1 at 3). The
second (grounds two and three from the petition) asserts that
Wisconsin did not present evidence sufficient to support his
conviction. Id. at 3-4. The Court addresses the
claims in reverse order.