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.

Onyelobi v. State

Supreme Court of Minnesota

August 7, 2019

Maureen Ndidiamaka Onyelobi, Appellant,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

          Office of Appellate Courts Hennepin County

          Beau D. McGraw, McGraw Law Firm, P.A., Lake Elmo, Minnesota, for appellant.

          Keith Ellison, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Scott A. Hersey, Special Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for respondent.

         SYLLABUS

         1. The district court did not abuse its discretion when it held that appellant's claims were procedurally barred.

         2. The district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied appellant's ineffective-assistance-of-appellant-counsel claim on the merits.

         Affirmed.

         Considered and decided by the court without oral argument.

          OPINION

          GILDEA, CHIEF JUSTICE

         Maureen Ndidiamaka Onyelobi was convicted of first-degree murder as an accomplice. On direct appeal, we affirmed her conviction. State v. Onyelobi (Onyelobi I), 879 N.W.2d 334 (Minn. 2016). Onyelobi then sought postconviction relief, asserting several claims of error. The district court denied her petition without a hearing. Because we conclude that each of Onyelobi's claims is either procedurally barred or fails on the merits, we affirm the district court.

         FACTS

         Onyelobi was convicted of the murder of Anthony Fairbanks, under an accomplice theory of liability.[1] At the time of his death, Fairbanks, his sister, and their mother were all heroin addicts. A syndicate consisting of Onyelobi, her boyfriend Maurice Wilson, and their friend David Johnson supplied Fairbanks and his family with heroin.

         About a month before the murder, Fairbanks and Wilson were indicted as co-defendants for conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin. Wilson was arrested and placed in custody, but Fairbanks was not immediately apprehended.

         On the day of Fairbanks' murder, Wilson called Onyelobi from jail and asked if she and Johnson had "take[n] care" of Fairbanks. When Onyelobi told Wilson that they had not, Wilson replied that "[i]f they catch that dude, I'm gone for the rest of my life." Onyelobi reassured Wilson that she and Johnson would "take care of it tonight" and that they had not yet done so because "[h]e always with somebody." When Onyelobi passed the phone to Johnson, Wilson warned him that "I go to court Monday, man" and that he needed Johnson to "be on top of that . . . ASAP."

         Later that day, around 9:30 p.m., Fairbanks arrived at his mother's apartment building. He informed his sister that he was leaving to purchase heroin from Onyelobi, and his mother heard him on the phone telling someone "[y]eah, Bro, I'm comin' right now, and I'm alone. I'm not coming with anybody. I'm by myself." Fairbanks left his mother's apartment around 9:50 p.m. and started walking southbound toward the location where his body was later discovered.

         Shortly before 10:00 p.m., a witness in a housing development about two blocks from Fairbanks' mother's apartment heard three gunshots. The witness looked out of a window and saw a body lying on the side of the road as well as a running van stopped nearby. The witness could not see how many people were inside the van, and 5 to 10 seconds later it drove off to the north. The witness called 911, and police arrived shortly thereafter. Upon arrival, police discovered that Fairbanks was dead after having been shot in the head four times from a close distance.

         During the investigation into the murder, Onyelobi became a person of interest. Police interviewed Fairbanks' mother and learned of the 9:50 p.m. phone call. After obtaining Fairbanks' cell records, police discovered that the phone call was from 651-208-**** (the 208 number). Fairbanks's sister told police that the 208 number belonged to Onyelobi and that she and Fairbanks would call this number to purchase heroin. In addition, police learned that Onyelobi was Wilson's girlfriend, that Wilson was in custody for crimes allegedly committed with Fairbanks, and that a van registered in Onyelobi's name matched the description of the van seen leaving the scene of the crime.

         Given this information, police decided to locate Onyelobi and bring her in for questioning. By using cellular data connected to the 208 phone number and obtaining hotel records, police determined that Onyelobi was staying at a Red Roof Inn in Plymouth. Officers knocked on the door of Onyelobi's hotel room and Johnson answered. From the door, officers observed contraband. Officers entered the room, froze the scene, and waited for a search warrant. Onyelobi, while not present at first, arrived about 30 ...


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.