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Sills v. Litteral
United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
November 9, 2018
DENNIS EARL SILLS PLAINTIFF
KATHY LITTERAL, Warden DEFENDANTS
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Dennis Sills's
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. [R. 1]. The Magistrate Judge filed Findings of
Fact and Conclusions of Law and Recommendation. [R. 17].
Sills filed objections thereto. [R. 18]. Having conducted a
de novo review of the Magistrate Judge's report, the
Court ADOPTS the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and
Recommendation as set forth in the report submitted by the
Magistrate Judge. [R. 17]. For the reasons stated herein,
Sills's objections are DENIED. The Court will enter a
separate Order and Judgment consistent with this Memorandum
Dennis Sills was found guilty of murdering Lisa Roach
(“Roach”) and sentenced to thirty-five years'
imprisonment by a Christian County, Kentucky Jury. [R. 17 at
1]. The Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's
conviction on direct appeal. Sills v. Commonwealth,
No. 2016-SC-000292-MR, 2017 WL 3631962 (Ky. Aug. 24, 2017).
On direct appeal, Petitioner only presented one claim:
“The trial court erred in allowing improper hearsay
evidence of prior bad acts.” [R. 13-1 at 41
(Petitioner's brief to Kentucky Supreme Court on direct
appeal)]. Petitioner has not filed any post-conviction
collateral attack proceeding in state court. [R. 17 at 1].
The only claim that Petitioner has presented to the state
courts is the trial error claim presented to the Kentucky
Supreme Court on direct appeal. Id. After the
Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's conviction,
he filed the petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254 that is before this Court. In his
habeas petition, Petitioner presents nine
claims. The claims are as follows:
1. Petitioner's counsel was ineffective for failing to
call witnesses to rebut evidence of domestic violence and
2. The trial court erred by failing to call Petitioner's
family to testify;
3. The trial court erred by preventing Petitioner's
counsel from asking a witness about a phone call in which
Petitioner allegedly expressed fear of Roach;
4. A testifying officer improperly commented on
5. The trial court erred when it did not instruct the jury on
extreme emotional disturbance or voluntary intoxication;
6. Petitioner's appellate counsel was ineffective for
failing to present certain claims on appeal;
7. Three jurors may not have been impartial;
8. The trial prosecutor engaged in misconduct by using
Petitioner's history of domestic violence and threats
9. The trial prosecutor engaged in misconduct when the
testifying officer commented on ...
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