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Hannon v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

February 8, 2017

Kevin Terrance Hannon, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

         Stearns County Office of Appellate Courts

          Kevin Terrance Hannon, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, pro se.

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Janelle P. Kendall, Stearns County Attorney, Michael J. Lieberg, Assistant County Attorney, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, for respondent.

         SYLLABUS

         The postconviction court did not abuse its discretion when it denied appellant's claims without holding an evidentiary hearing.

         Affirmed.

         Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

          OPINION

          HUDSON, Justice.

         This case is an appeal from the denial of Kevin Terrance Hannon's third petition for postconviction relief. After we overturned Hannon's first conviction on direct appeal, he was tried a second time and convicted of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping, see Minn. Stat. § 609.185(a)(3) (2016), and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release under Minn. Stat. § 609.106, subd. 2(2) (2006). We affirmed Hannon's second conviction on direct appeal. Over the next few years, Hannon filed two petitions for postconviction relief, and we affirmed the denial of both petitions. In September 2015, Hannon filed his third petition for postconviction relief, raising a wide variety of claims. The postconviction court denied the claims as either meritless or as untimely filed under the 2-year statute of limitations in Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4 (2016). Because one of Hannon's claims is meritless and the remaining claims were untimely filed, the postconviction court did not abuse its discretion in summarily denying the petition. We therefore affirm.

         I.

         In September 1999, Hannon killed his girlfriend, Deborah Tolhurst, during a physical altercation in their shared apartment.[1] Among the pieces of evidence later discovered by law enforcement was a bloodstained denim shirt identified as the one that Hannon had been wearing on the day of the murder. Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Forensic Scientist Ann Gross obtained a DNA profile from the blood on the shirt that matched Tolhurst's DNA profile. Gross also obtained a DNA sample from skin cells on the shirt collar. According to Gross, the predominant DNA profile in the sample matched Hannon's DNA profile. She testified that neither profile match would be expected to occur more than once in the world's population among unrelated individuals.

         After a jury trial, Hannon was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. We reversed and remanded for a new trial after deciding that the trial court erroneously admitted statements made by Hannon to interrogating officers after he had invoked his right to counsel. State v. Hannon (Hannon I), 636 N.W.2d 796, 807 (Minn. 2001). After a second jury trial, Hannon was found guilty and convicted of first-degree murder while committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release under Minn. Stat. § 609.106, subd. 2(2). We affirmed Hannon's conviction on direct appeal. State v. Hannon (Hannon II), 703 N.W.2d 498');">703 N.W.2d 498, 504 (Minn. 2005).

         In December 2006, Hannon filed his first petition for postconviction relief. The postconviction court held a hearing, after which it concluded that all of Hannon's claims were either meritless or procedurally barred, and denied the petition. We affirmed the denial of Hannon's petition. Hannon v. State (Hannon III), 752 N.W.2d 518, 520 (Minn. 2008). In January 2009, Hannon filed another petition for postconviction relief. The postconviction court denied the petition, concluding that all of Hannon's claims were untimely filed under Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4, and procedurally barred. See State v. Knaffla, 309 Minn. 246, 252, 243 N.W.2d 737, 741 (1976) ("[W]here direct appeal has once been taken, all matters raised therein, and all claims known but not raised, will not be considered upon a subsequent petition for postconviction relief."). We affirmed the denial of Hannon's second petition, holding that the petition was untimely filed. Hannon v. State (Hannon IV), 781 N.W.2d 887, 892 (Minn. 2010).

         This case involves Hannon's third petition for postconviction relief, which he filed in September 2015. In nearly 200 pages of materials, Hannon brought a host of claims, which generally fall into 12 categories: (1) an unauthorized sentence, (2) incompetence to stand trial; (3) ineffective assistance of trial counsel; (4) judicial bias by the trial judge; (5) judicial bias by the previous postconviction judge; (6) failure to serve the indictment; (7) actual innocence; (8) evidence of false DNA testimony from the BCA scientist; (9) evidence of false/inaccurate statements from the State's witnesses; (10) evidence relating to substantive evidence referenced at trial; (11) evidence of a violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); and (12) prosecutorial misconduct. The postconviction court denied Hannon's petition without holding an evidentiary hearing, concluding that all of the claims except the sentencing claim were untimely filed under section 590.01, subdivision 4, because they were brought more than 2 years after our disposition of his direct appeal and none of the ...


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