Seventh Circuit Finds No Collateral Estoppel When Jury Acquits of Murder and Then Judge Convicts in Subsequent Bench Trial of Armed Habitual Criminal Based on Same Facts

In this case, the Petitioner was accused of a murder with a firearm. He was charged with first degree murder and armed habitual criminal. The armed habitual criminal count was severed, and he went to trial on the first degree murder charge. He was acquitted of first-degree murder by an Illinois jury, and then went to a bench trial on the armed habitual criminal count. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison.

The defendant raised for the first time on direct appeal that prosecution on this charge was barred by collateral estoppel, for which the Illinois appellate court affirmed, finding no plain error. The Defendant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2254, alleging the same theory. The District Court denied the petition, finding that the issue of murder was precluded, but not whether or not the defendant possessed a firearm on the same facts.

After reviewing all of the relevant case law, the Seventh Circuit agreed with the District Court and affirmed the denial of the petition.

The case is Riley v. Calloway; 17-1831.

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