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.

Vue v. Foster

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

April 10, 2019

PAO CHOUA VUE, Petitioner,
v.
BRIAN FOSTER, Respondent.

          DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Nancy Joseph United States Magistrate Judge.

         Pao Choua Vue, a prisoner in Wisconsin custody, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Vue pled guilty and was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide as party to a crime. Vue is currently serving a fifty-year sentence. Vue alleges that his conviction and sentence are unconstitutional. For the reasons stated below, the petition for writ of habeas corpus will be denied and the case dismissed.

         BACKGROUND

         Vue challenges his judgment of conviction for first-degree reckless homicide as party to a crime in La Crosse County Circuit Court. (Resp. Br., Ex. 1, Docket # 24-1 at 1-3.) The charges arose from a shooting that occurred in March 2012. (State v. Vue, Appeal No. 2015AP541 (Wis. Ct. App. Jan. 12, 2016), Resp. Br., Ex. 3, Docket # 24-3 at 2.) The criminal complaint indicated that Vue's nephew and co-defendant, Kong Vue, told police in April 2012 that he was driving, with Vue as a passenger, on the day of the shooting. (Id.) Vue fired a gun toward a residence. (Id.) Kong Vue and Vue then “went to another house to get some money.” (Id.) Vue waited in the car while Kong Vue took the gun, entered an apartment, and shot and killed the apartment's occupant. (Id.) Kong Vue then returned to the car, told Vue what happened, and gave Vue the gun. (Id.) Vue then drove Kong Vue home. (Id.)

         Vue was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and armed burglary, all as party to the crime, as well as felony bail jumping. (Id.) At a joint preliminary hearing held in May 2012, an investigating officer testified that Kong Vue told the officer that he was driving the car and Vue took out a gun and fired several rounds at a residence. (Id.) Kong Vue drove away. (Id.) Kong Vue and Vue then switched seats so that Vue was driving. (Id.) Vue parked the vehicle and Kong Vue took the gun and exited the car to go “get some money.” (Id.) Kong Vue entered the apartment, saw the occupant, panicked, and shot her. (Id.) Kong Vue then ran back to the car, told Vue what happened, gave Vue the gun, and Vue drove away. (Id.)

         Pursuant to a plea agreement, Vue pled guilty to first-degree reckless homicide as party to a crime. (Id.) The court relied on the criminal complaint and the preliminary hearing testimony as the factual basis for the plea. (Id. at 2-3.) Vue filed a postconviction motion to withdraw his plea, arguing that he was denied due process when the State failed to disclose the full details of a second statement Kong Vue gave to police in August 2012, prior to Vue entering his plea. He further argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to obtain the full details of Kong Vue's second statement through discovery before Vue entered a plea. (Id. at 3.) After an evidentiary hearing, the circuit court denied Vue's motion for postconviction relief. (Id.)

         On appeal, Vue again argued that he was denied due process and that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Vue contended that Kong Vue's August 2012 statement contained material exculpatory evidence that the State was required to disclose. (Id.) Specifically, Vue cited statements by Kong Vue that Kong had not communicated to Vue that Kong Vue's intent, as he was exiting the car, was to use the gun to obtain money. (Id.) Kong Vue stated that the plan was “just all in [his] head” and that Kong Vue merely told Vue to wait while Kong Vue took the gun and exited the car. (Id.) Vue argued that those statements were material and exculpatory because they would have supported Vue's defense to party to the crime liability by corroborating Vue's statements that Vue did not know what Kong Vue was doing when Kong Vue left the car with the gun. (Id.) Vue asserted that he would have insisted on a trial rather than entering a plea had he possessed that information. (Id.)

         The court of appeals rejected Vue's arguments and affirmed his judgment of conviction. (Id. at 4-6.) The Wisconsin Supreme Court denied Vue's petition for review on April 6, 2016. (Ex. to Habeas Petition, Docket # 1-1 at 7.) Vue filed a timely petition for writ of habeas corpus in this court on June 30, 2017. (Docket # 1 at 13.) Vue elected to proceed on grounds one and two of his petition, acknowledging that grounds three and four were unexhausted. (Docket # 7, Docket # 17.)

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Vue's petition is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDPA”). Under AEDPA, a writ of habeas corpus may be granted if the state court decision on the merits of the petitioner's claim (1) was “contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, ” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); or (2) “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)(2).

         A state court's decision is “contrary to . . . clearly established Federal law as established by the United States Supreme Court” if it is “substantially different from relevant [Supreme Court] precedent.” Washington v. Smith, 219 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405 (2000)). The court of appeals for this circuit recognized the narrow application of the “contrary to” clause:

[U]nder the “contrary to” clause of § 2254(d)(1), [a court] could grant a writ of habeas corpus . . . where the state court applied a rule that contradicts the governing law as expounded in Supreme Court cases or where the state court confronts facts materially indistinguishable from a Supreme Court case and nevertheless arrives at a different result.

Washington, 219 F.3d at 628. The court further explained that the “unreasonable application of” clause was broader and “allows a federal habeas court to grant habeas relief whenever the state court ‘unreasonably applied [a clearly established] principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.'” Id. (quoting Williams, 529 U.S. at 413).

         To be unreasonable, a state court ruling must be more than simply “erroneous” and perhaps more than “clearly erroneous.” Hennon v. Cooper,109 F.3d 330, 334 (7th Cir. 1997). Under the “unreasonableness” standard, a state court's decision will stand “if it is one of several equally plausible outcomes.” ...


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.