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.

Glaze v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

March 21, 2018

Billy Richard Glaze, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

          Hennepin County Office of Appellate Courts

          Edward B. Magarian, Daniel D. Falknor, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Julie Jonas, Innocence Project of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Adnan Sultan, The Innocence Project, Inc., New York, New York, for appellant.

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Jean Burdorf, Assistant County Attorney, Brittany D. Lawonn, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent.

         SYLLABUS

         The death of the client terminated the attorney-client relationship and counsel did not have standing to pursue an appeal on behalf of their former client.

         Appeal dismissed.

          OPINION

          McKEIG, Justice.

         This case arises out of a district court order dismissing a postconviction petition as moot following the death of the petitioner. The petitioner's former attorneys appealed the district court's order even though their client had died. Because the attorneys, who are not themselves aggrieved parties, do not have standing to seek review of the district court's order, we lack appellate jurisdiction and must dismiss the appeal.

         FACTS

         In 1989, following a jury trial, Billy Richard Glaze was convicted of multiple counts of first degree-murder during a sexual assault and second-degree intentional murder for the deaths of three Native American women. The three women had each been beaten to death and were left naked and posed with large sticks protruding from their vaginas. The bodies were discovered at different locations around Minneapolis in areas frequented by transients. Due to the amount of debris in each location, investigators collected and tested hundreds of items of potential evidence. DNA testing did not reveal a direct link between Glaze and the crime scenes. At trial, the State introduced evidence that suggested that Glaze had animus towards Native American women and that he fantasized about sexually mutilating them. The State also introduced evidence that Glaze had given his girlfriend a ring belonging to one of the victims and evidence of shoe prints found at that victim's murder scene that were consistent with shoes belonging to Glaze. We affirmed Glaze's convictions on appeal, relying on the "overwhelming evidence of [his] guilt." State v. Glaze, 452 N.W.2d 655, 661 (Minn. 1990).

         In 2007, Glaze filed a motion in Hennepin County District Court requesting forensic DNA testing not available at the time of his trial to demonstrate his actual innocence. See Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 1a (2016) (allowing a convicted person to make a motion for DNA testing to demonstrate actual innocence). The motion was granted, and the parties spent the next 7 years litigating the scope of the 2007 order, including what items could be tested and who would conduct the testing.

         In June of 2014, Glaze filed an "Amended Petition for Postconviction Relief." Glaze argued that the newly discovered evidence-results from DNA testing-placed an alternative perpetrator, J.A.S., at two of the crime scenes. Glaze requested that his convictions be vacated and that he be granted a new trial. In the alternative, Glaze requested an evidentiary hearing to resolve any factual disputes regarding his newly discovered evidence from the DNA testing. Over the next 18 months, the parties submitted a flurry of motions in which they strenuously disagreed about the significance of the DNA testing. In August of 2015, the district court ordered additional DNA testing and reserved judgment on whether to conduct an evidentiary hearing.

         On December 22, 2015, Billy Glaze died. Less than 2 weeks later, the State moved to dismiss Glaze's postconviction petition as moot given Glaze's death. The attorneys who had been representing Glaze in the postconviction proceedings argued that Glaze's petition was not moot because the district court could grant "effectual relief" by "clearing [Glaze's] name-his dying wish." In the alternative, they argued that, even if the petition was technically moot, the "significant public interest exception" to the mootness doctrine applied because the petition was "functionally justiciable" and presented "important public issues of statewide significance."

         Before the district court reached a decision on the State's motion to dismiss for mootness, the personal representative of Glaze's estate, Debra Kovats, filed a motion to substitute herself as the petitioner in Glaze's postconviction case. She also moved to amend the caption of the postconviction proceedings as follows: "Billy Richard Glaze, Debra Kovats, Personal Representative of the Estate of Billy Richard Glaze, Petitioner, vs. State of Minnesota, Respondent." The personal representative's attorneys, who were also the attorneys who had been representing Glaze in the postconviction proceedings, argued that substitution was permitted under Minn. R. ...


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.