This writ proceeding arises from the criminal prosecution of the Petitioner/Relator Cornell McKay for his alleged involvement in a robbery that occurred on August 10, 2012. On October 11, 2012, an indictment was returned charging Petitioner with first degree armed robbery and armed criminal action. An arrest warrant issued at the time of the indictment. Petitioner turned himself in on August 20, 2012, and has been incarcerated in the St. Louis Justice Center ever since. Petitioner was found guilty by a jury which returned the verdict on December 13, 201
3. Subsequently, Petitioner’s trial counsel missed the deadline for filing a motion for
new trial provided in Supreme Court Rule 29.11. On February 3, 2014, said trial counsel was permitted to withdraw.
Petitioner’s sentencing is set for March 20, 2014.
III. Action of Respondent Being Challenged
Petitioner challenges Respondent Vannoy’s ruling denying his request to stay the sentencing and his request to issue a writ of habeas corpus to correct his attorney’s failure
to perfect his appeal. Petitioner also applied for Respondent Vannoy to bring an alleged alternative perpetrator, Keith Esters, to court to testify about newly discovered statements he made to a news reporter which were tantamount to an admission that he, not Petitioner, committed the robbery.
Respondent Vannoy denied all of Petitioner’s motions.
IV. Relief Sought by Relator
Petitioner seeks a writ of prohibition directing Respondent Vannoy to postpone
Petitioner’s sentencing to allow Petitioner to file and have a meaningful hearing on
a motion for new trial, including claims based on newly discovered evidence, and thereby perfect his direct appeal. Petitioner also seeks a writ of habeas corpus to correct the negligent abandonment on appeal by his trial counsel. Petitioner further seeks a hearing on his gateway claim of actual innocent that he has been the victim of a manifest injustice, and that the circumstances are so rare and exceptional as to amount to a denial of his constitutional rights under the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.