Gray v. Zatecky, No. 15-2482 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
In 2000, Gray and another went to Jones’s home to buy marijuana. Avant, was present and saw the three retire to the rear of the house. The third man returned and robbed Avant.Gray ran past carrying a bag, firing into the rear of the house. Jones died from gunshot wounds. Gray’s convictions were overturned on state post-conviction review. In 2007, Gray was again convicted of felony murder, murder, robbery, attempted murder, and carrying a handgun without a license. During the retrial, the prosecution used four peremptory challenges on black jurors. The prosecution’s case hinged on testimony from Avant and White; both maintained that Gray confessed while they shared a cell. Avant initially asserted that he was not present for the robbery. He struggled to identify the assailants. White was trying to get a lighter sentence. Defense counsel introduced Gray’s similar crime against White to undermine White’s credibility. The jury initially deadlocked. Gray’s state petition for post-conviction relief stopped the one-year limitations period under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, 28 U.S.C. 2244(d)(1). Gray had until January 11, 2013, to file his federal habeas corpus petition. He filed on April 29, 2013, The district court dismissed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding Gray ineligible for equitable tolling, and did not address ineffective assistance of counsel, whether striking the black jurors violated Batson, and the possibility that Gray’s due process rights were violated by inaccurate juror questionnaire answers.