United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. RAU, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
above-captioned case comes before the undersigned on
Petitioner Eddie Niles Hubbard's (“Hubbard”)
Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas
Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“Habeas
Petition”) [Doc. No. 1]. This matter has been referred for
the resolution of pretrial matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b) and District of Minnesota Local Rule 72.1. For
the reasons stated below, the Court recommends the Habeas
Petition be denied and this case be dismissed.
Background in State Court
10, 2013, Hubbard fatally shot his friend J.C. State v.
Hubbard, No. A14-1259, 2015 WL 4714802, at *1
(Minn.Ct.App. Aug. 10, 2015), review denied (Minn.
Oct. 28, 2015). The victim, his girlfriend K.S., and
K.S.'s children had lived with Hubbard on and off for
several months. Id. The week before the shooting,
Hubbard and J.C. had several arguments. Id. In one
incident, J.C., K.S., and K.S.'s children arrived at
Hubbard's home expecting to find “a key for them in
the usual place.” Id. Hubbard, however,
refused to let them inside. Id. J.C. looked for the
key at the back of the house, and when he returned to the
front of the house, he was holding a brick and told K.S. that
Hubbard “had called some people to come over and do
something to him.” Id. J.C. put the brick down
at K.S.'s request, and the police arrived. Id.
Hubbard and J.C. later spent about three hours together,
after which J.C. “told K.S. that they could stay at
[Hubbard's] house through the end of the month.”
10, 2013, J.C. and K.S. decided that they needed to leave
Hubbard's home after Hubbard texted K.S. to say that he
wanted them to leave. Id. J.C. spoke to Hubbard and
then returned to the room he and K.S. had been using.
Id. He told K.S. that Hubbard wanted them to pack
their belongings and leave. Id. While J.C. and K.S.
were packing, Hubbard began yelling up the stairs, calling
J.C. names and complaining about J.C.'s refusal to
accompany Hubbard to the pharmacy. Id. at *2.
Hubbard approached the bedroom, and K.S. turned her back to
him. Id. She then “felt something pushing hard
on her back, ” and when she turned, she saw it was a
black shotgun. Id.
K.S. began crying and begged [Hubbard] to put the gun down.
As K.S. walked from side to side, [Hubbard] followed her
movements with the gun. K.S. walked over to where J.C. was
standing, and [Hubbard] lowered the gun. [Hubbard] said to
J.C., “You can talk to this b . . . ch but you
can't talk to me? What, I'm not good enough for you?
You can't even come to the pharmacy with me?” J.C.
replied that he was packing as [Hubbard] had requested.
[Hubbard] raised the gun, pumped it, and moved the barrel
back and forth, alternately pointing it at K.S. and J.C. J.C.
yelled at [Hubbard] to put the gun down, and [Hubbard] pulled
the trigger, fatally shooting J.C. in the abdomen. K.S. had
been standing right next to J.C., and her back was spattered
with his blood. K.S. testified that she did not see a weapon
in J.C.'s hand and did not see J.C. threaten or make any
movement toward [Hubbard].
[Hubbard], who was shaking badly and still had the gun in his
hand, walked over to K.S. and said, “It was an
accident, say it was an accident!” [Hubbard] then
pointed the gun at K.S., who was holding her children on her
lap, and said, “You better tell the police it was a f .
. . ing accident.” K.S. promised to do so, and
[Hubbard] ran out of the room. K.S. called 911 as soon as
[Hubbard] left the room. When police arrived a few minutes
later, [Hubbard] had fled from the house. Shortly after the
shooting, [Hubbard] gave varying accounts of it to a 911
operator and friends.
Id. Hubbard was charged with second-degree
intentional murder and four counts of second-degree assault.
Id. at *1. “In addition to the charged
offenses, two lesser included offenses were submitted to the
jury”: first-degree intentional manslaughter and
second-degree unintentional murder. Id. at *3.
“The jury found [Hubbard] guilty of first-degree
manslaughter and one count of second-degree assault.”
the trial, Hubbard made the following arguments in his appeal
to the Minnesota Court of Appeals:
(1) the manslaughter conviction must be reversed because the
evidence was insufficient to prove that he intended to cause
the victim's death and that he was not acting in
self-defense; (2) the assault conviction must be reversed
because the evidence was insufficient to prove that he
intended to cause the victim fear of immediate bodily harm or
death; (3) the district court denied him a meaningful
opportunity to present a complete defense; (4) the district
court erred in instructing the jury on self-defense; and (5)
evidence of other bad acts was irrelevant and not probative
and, therefore, should have been excluded.
Id. at *1. The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed
the conviction, and the Minnesota Supreme Court denied review
on October 28, 2015. See Id. Hubbard did not file a
petition for a writ of certiorari from the United States
Background in Federal Court
filed his Habeas Petition on December 7, 2016, raising the
following grounds for relief: (1) the evidence was
insufficient to establish that Hubbard acted with the
requisite intent instead of acting in self-defense; (2) the
evidence was insufficient to prove that Hubbard
“intended to cause K.S. fear of immediate bodily harm
or death”; (3) the trial court denied Hubbard's
right to a meaningful defense when it did not allow Hubbard
to cross-examine K.S. about breaking into his home; and (4)
the jury instructions were unconstitutional because
“the district court did not properly instruct the
jury” regarding Hubbard's self-defense claim.
(Habeas Pet. at 5, 7-8, 10). In the Memorandum accompanying
his Petition, Hubbard raises numerous additional grounds for
relief. See (Mem.) [Doc. No. 4-1]. These additional
grounds are: (5) ineffective assistance of trial
counsel; (6) the trial court erred in denying his
request for a different attorney; (7) both the prosecutors
and defense counsel failed to use certain evidence; (8) the
trial court “gave a defective reasonable doubt
instruction to the jury” in violation of the Fifth and
Sixth Amendments; (9) the trial court erred in providing
additional instructions and an additional criminal charge to
the jury in the absence of Hubbard and his counsel; (10) the
trial “[c]ourt erred when it gave [an] aggravated
sentence for children” when Hubbard was not convicted
of child-related charges; (11) the delays caused by disputes
regarding whether Hubbard qualified for a public defender
prejudiced Hubbard because witnesses forgot the accounts they
gave law enforcement officers; (12) the trial court erred in
limiting the scope of cross-examination with respect to one
of the investigators; (13) the trial court erred in admitting
evidence of Hubbard's prior bad acts; (14) the trial
court abused its discretion when it disallowed photographic
evidence of J.C. holding a shotgun; (15) the trial court
erred in discouraging the jury from taking notes; (16) the
trial court erred in prohibiting evidence related to
J.C.'s mental health history and arrest record; (17) the
trial court erred in refusing the jury's request to read
K.S.'s testimony; (18) the trial court erred in
permitting the prosecutor's improper closing argument;
and (19) the prosecution improperly excluded individuals who
were young, college-educated, African-American, and male in
violation of the constitution. See (id.).
Hubbard's Memorandum also repeats and expands upon
certain grounds raised in the Petition. See
(id. at 13, 25-27).
Vicki Janssen (the “State”) argues that most of
Hubbard's claims are procedurally defaulted, and the
claim that is arguably fully exhausted-whether the
prosecution sufficiently disproved Hubbard's self-defense
argument-fails on the merits. See generally
(State's Mem. in Opp'n); see also
(id. at 12-13).
claims are procedurally defaulted. Only one claim-whether
self-defense was sufficiently disproved-was raised before the
Minnesota Supreme Court. (App.) [Doc. No. 16 at 96]. The Court
first discusses ...