United States District Court, D. Kansas
CHARLES L. JONES, Petitioner,
REX PRYOR, et al., Respondents.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROBINSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded this case for an
evidentiary hearing to determine whether Petitioner's
federal habeas petition was timely filed, the parties
submitted a joint proposal (Doc. 51) that the Court approved
(Doc. 54). In exchange for Petitioner's consolidation and
narrowing of his federal habeas claims, Respondents agreed to
waive the statute of limitation defense, obviating the need
for an evidentiary hearing on that issue. The parties also
agreed to bifurcate briefing as follows: 1) claims that the
parties agreed could be decided on the existing record, and
2) claims that may require factual development or an
parties have fully briefed the existing record claims and the
Court is prepared to rule. These claims attack Petitioner's
life sentence, alleging: 1) ineffective assistance of counsel
during the juvenile waiver hearing entitling Petitioner to a
presumption of prejudice under United State v.
Cronic (Claim 3); 2) a Sixth Amendment violation
based on the failure to notify Petitioner and his parents of
their right to employ counsel of their choice (Claims 1 and
4); and 3) an Apprendi violation due to the juvenile
court's decision to authorize prosecution of Petitioner
as an adult (Claim 5). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court denies federal habeas relief on these claims.
of 1998, Petitioner Charles Jones was 16 years old and had
two theft adjudications for joyriding. The Kansas Supreme
Court summarized the facts for the July 21, 1998, shooting
death of Robert Trzok as follows in State v.
The State's theory at trial was that Jones had been
robbed and injured by Trzok prior to the shooting. After
identifying Trzok's parked car, Jones and his friend
LaKevis Tensley entered the house where Trzok and four
others, Jeffrey Fields, Ronald Haskins, S.W., and E.G., were
drinking and consuming drugs. Jones and Tensley beat Trzok
and drug him out of the house and onto the front porch where
Jones shot Trzok three times in the back of the head.
Tracy Thomas, an emergency room nurse, testified that days
prior to the shooting death of Trzok, she treated a male, who
identified himself as Santos Metcalf, for a serious mouth
laceration. The person purporting to be Santos Metcalf
explained he was hurt by riding his bicycle into a clothes
line. A doctor sutured the person's mouth and sent him
home. Sandra Metcalf, Jones' cousin, testified that
Santos Metcalf is her brother and that he had never had a
laceration to his mouth. She testified it actually was Jones
who had suffered the injury to his mouth.
Tensley testified regarding the events of July 21, 1998.
Tensley was driving when he saw Jones walking and picked up
Jones. They continued to ride around getting high by smoking
marijuana. Tensley observed injuries to Jones mouth, which
Tensley believed occurred while someone tried to rob Jones.
Jones spotted the car belonging to the man who robbed him.
Tensley testified he believed Jones merely wanted to beat the
guy who had robbed him. Tensley and Jones carried guns as
they walked to the house.
Jones entered the house first. By the time Tensley entered
the house, Jones was already talking to Trzok. Both Tensley
and Jones were wearing bandannas to conceal their identity.
Jones asked Trzok to come outside and when Trzok refused,
Tensley struck Trzok in the face and kicked Trzok before
dragging Trzok out of the house. According to Tensley, when
he reached the outside of the house he began running to his
car. It was not until Tensley was running to his car that he
heard shots. Tensley and Jones left in Tensley's car.
Tensley dropped Jones off at his grandmother's house.
Fields testified that he had known Trzok for a few months
before Trzok's murder. On the day of the murder, Trzok
drove his own car to Fields' house, arriving at 9 a.m.
Fields and Trzok began smoking crack cocaine at that time.
E.G., S.W., and Haskins all arrived later. Those at the house
drank alcohol and consumed crack cocaine and marijuana.
According to Fields, Trzok purchased most of the crack,
spending between $700 to $1, 000.
Late in the evening, Haskins unlocked the front door and
permitted two people to enter. Fields testified Jones entered
first, and then a second person entered sometime thereafter.
Fields testified he did not recognize Jones at first as one
of the intruders, but said he had recognized him as someone
whom he had seen previously in the neighborhood. Fields said
Jones and Tensley wore bandannas over their faces. Trzok did
not want to go outside with Jones and Tensley. Fields told
Trzok to get up and go outside to take care of his business
with Jones and Tensley because Fields did not “like
confusion inside [his] home.” Fields confirmed there
was a struggle to get Trzok outside. Fields noticed Jones had
a gun which looked like a revolver. When Jones and Tensley
dragged Trzok out of the house, Fields shut and locked the
door. Fields observed Jones bend down to shoot Trzok.
Later, during an interview at the police department, Fields
identified Jones from a lineup as the man who shot Trzok.
Fields denied that he, Haskins, S.W., or E.G. had anything to
do with Trzok's murder.
Ronald J. Haskins, Sr.
Haskins, who is Fields' uncle, arrived at Fields'
house around noon the day of Trzok's murder. Haskins
confirmed that he drank alcohol and got high while at
Fields' house. According to Haskins, he heard a knock,
saw Jones outside, and yelled out to Fields to announce
Jones' presence. Fields authorized Haskins to unlock the
door for Jones. Haskins identified Jones as the person
standing on the porch. Although Jones put on a bandanna when
he entered the house, Jones was not wearing the bandanna when
Haskins saw him standing outside the house. Haskins testified
that Jones entered the house and told Trzok to leave the
house. Haskins confirmed that a second man then entered the
house and both Tensley and Jones beat Trzok and drug him
outside. After Jones and Tensley dragged Trzok outside,
Haskins heard gunshots. Haskins also picked Jones out of a
S.W. and E.G.
S.W.'s testimony was consistent with Fields and Haskins
regarding the events on the evening of the murder, but S.W.
could not identify either of the intruders. E.G. also
testified at trial. E.G.'s testimony confirmed the events
leading up Trzok's murder. E.G. identified Jones as the
first of the two intruders.
Investigation of Scene
Dr. Erik Mitchell, a forensic pathologist, performed the
autopsy identifying three gunshot wounds to the back of
Trzok's head. Trzok had cocaine, but no alcohol, in his
blood at the time of his death. Dr. Mitchell also identified
numerous other injuries to Trzok's shoulder, left arm,
back of right hand, back of right elbow, and left lower back.
The cause of death was the gunshots wounds to the head.
Don Garrett, a police officer, testified that he recovered
three bullets from the scene: two were under Trzok's head
and another lodged in the house next door. Dr. Mitchell
removed a fourth bullet from Trzok's body.
William Newhouse, the chief criminalist with the firearms and
toolmark section with the police department, analyzed the
bullets from the scene. Newhouse testified the bullets were
fired from the same gun, which had to be a .38/.357 caliber
Sophia Barajas, a police officer, testified she was
immediately dispatched to the scene after shots were
reported. Officer Barajas testified the red car parked in
front of Fields' house belonged to Trzok.
Jones' Flight to Iowa
Jones' cousin Metcalf testified that Jones stayed with
her on Wednesday night, which was the night after the murder.
On Thursday evening, Metcalf and her boyfriend drove Jones to
Des Moines, arriving early Friday morning. Metcalf and her
boyfriend dropped Jones off at his mother's apartment.
Greg Trimble, an officer with the Des Moines police
department, testified that he was called on Friday to help
the Federal Bureau of Investigation in finding Jones. Officer
Trimble arrested Jones. According to Officer Trimble, Jones
continually questioned Officer Trimble about the purpose for
the arrest. Upon learning of the allegations, Jones denied
being responsible for any murder; however, his denial assumed
that the murder was committed with a gun, a fact that had not
been revealed to Jones.
Jan Bjurstrom, an officer with the Des Moines police
department, testified that she noticed blood on Jones'
shoe. Jones explained it was blood from his mouth injury.
Officer Bjurstrom seized the shoes and gave them to Kansas
detectives who had come to Des Moines to interview Jones.
Linda Netzel, a senior criminalist with the Kansas City,
Missouri police department, testified about the DNA analysis
of blood extracted from Jones' shoe. Netzel testified the
blood on Jones' shoe matched Trzok's blood. Further,
Netzel excluded Jones' own blood from possibly matching
the stain. Netzel testified there was a 1 in 32 million
chance of finding another person with DNA also matching the
stain. Netzel also testified about a phenomenon in DNA
analysis known as spillover, which could potentially render
the test invalid. However, Netzel testified that spillover
was not possible in her analysis.
State filed a Complaint for First Degree Murder and
Aggravated Battery against Petitioner on July 24,
1998. Law enforcement arrested Petitioner in
Iowa. Petitioner signed a Waiver of Extradition and was
extradited to Kansas on or about July 27, 1998. A warrant hearing
was held on July 29, 1998, and a detention hearing was set
for the next day.
30, 1998, the juvenile court ordered Petitioner detained
pending a waiver hearing. That same day, the State filed a motion
requesting authorization to prosecute Petitioner as an
adult. On September 3, 1998, the juvenile court
certified Petitioner for adult prosecution.
January 31, 2000, a jury found Petitioner guilty of one count
of First Degree Premeditated Murder. On March 17, 2000, the
trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment, with the
possibility of parole after 25 years. Petitioner
filed a direct appeal, arguing inter alia, that: 1)
adult certification without sufficient notice to his parents
violated the due process clause, 2) the juvenile court erred
by failing to consider the eight factors mandated in K.S.A.
38-1636(e) in authorizing adult prosecution; and 3)
increasing the penalty he faced by prosecuting him as an
adult was an illegal upward departure under Apprendi v.
New Jersey. The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed
Petitioner's conviction and sentence. The United
States Supreme Court denied certiorari on October 21,
9, 2004, Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief
pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1507 (“the 1507 Motion”).
In this motion, Petitioner argued, inter alia, that
manifest injustice resulted because he was denied effective
assistance of counsel at the waiver hearing.
argued that his counsel's performance at that hearing
fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and that
he suffered prejudice as a result of counsel's many
failures. The district court denied the motion as untimely.
Petitioner appealed. On September 30, 2005, the Kansas Court
of Appeals reversed the district court's denial and
remanded the case for further proceedings. On remand,
after an evidentiary hearing, the District Court of Wyandotte
County denied Petitioner's 1507 Motion, finding in
Petitioner's contention that his representation by Sean
(sic) DeGraff at the hearing to determine if he should be
tried as an adult is reviewed using the two-prong test set
forth in Chamberlain v. State, 236 Kan. 650, 694 P
.2d 468 (1985). The Court finds that even if Mr.
DeGraff's representation of the petitioner fell below an
objective standard of reasonableness as dictated by the first
prong, there is not a reasonable probability that the results
of the proceeding would have been different but for any
errors of counsel.
Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed that denial with the
The severity of the crime, the violent manner in which the
crime was committed, the fact that the crime resulted in the
victim's death, and Jones' criminal history, which
included two theft convictions, all weighed against trying
Jones as a juvenile. Jones had the burden to rebut the
presumption, and the only factors that could have weighed in
his favor were factors six, seven, and eight. However, Jones
was charged with first-degree murder. There was evidence of
premeditation. Jones had prior felony theft and misdemeanor
theft convictions, in which he was tried as a juvenile. The
facts also show that this was a particularly brutal murder.
Jones and a friend dragged Trzok out of the house, beat him,
and then Jones shot him three times in the back of the head.
The factors that weighed against allowing Jones to proceed as
a juvenile were so great that there is no reasonable
probability that evidence [of] his maturity or sophistication
would have outweighed the other factors. Jones has failed to
establish that his counsel's deficient performance
prejudiced his defense. The district court did not err by
denying Jones' claim of ineffective assistance of
Kansas Supreme Court denied review of the Court of
Appeals' decision affirming the denial of the 1507
23, 2009, Petitioner filed a motion to correct illegal
sentence in the District Court of Wyandotte County, alleging
fatal defects at various proceedings, including: 1) lack of
notice to his parents regarding the juvenile waiver hearing,
2) an erroneous determination that waiver counsel's
deficient performance was harmless; and 3) lack of notice
regarding the right to retain counsel of
choice. The state district court summarily
denied the motion as a second or successive
1507-motion. Petitioner appealed and the Kansas
Supreme Court affirmed the denial of ...