Lee v. Baenen, No. 13-1314 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Lee was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide plus two counts of armed robbery, based on evidence that he and Thomas traveled to Meyers’s residence in Oshkosh, to collect a drug debt. Four people were present when they arrived: Meyers’s half-brother Johnston, Meyers’s friend Paez and her two-year-old daughter, and Meyers. A fight broke out; Lee pulled a gun and fatally shot Meyers in the abdomen. Lee and Thomas left the apartment and drove to Milwaukee where they met with Johnson. Johnson drove them to a gas station and then dropped Lee off at a street corner. Shortly thereafter, Johnson and Thomas were pulled over by Milwaukee police and arrested. Lee was apprehended in Chicago a month later. Lee’s conviction was affirmed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. State courts denied post-conviction relief. The federal district court denied habeas corpus relief. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that an in-court identification of Lee violated his rights to due process and that admission of an out-of-court statement at trial violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses. An adequate and independent state ground precluded consideration of Lee’s claim for ineffective assistance of counsel.