United States Third Circuit

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Rainey v. Varner, 08-1714

In defendant's petition for habeas relief, claiming that his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective for failing to challenge his first degree murder conviction on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to prove his shared intent to kill a jewelry store owner during the robbery, district court's denial is affirmed where there is no prejudice under Strickland v. Washington, as evidence at trial was sufficient to prove second degree murder and a conviction for second degree murder in Pennsylvania results in a mandatory life sentence, the same sentence that defendant is now serving.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 01/26/2010
  • Decided 04/23/2010
  • Published 04/23/2010


  • Before FUENTES and FISHER, Circuit Judges; and KANE, District Judge.


  • United States Third Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • George A. Bibikos, Esq. [Argued], David R. Fine, K & L Gates LLP, Harrisburg, PA, Attorneys for Appellant.

  • For Appellees:
  • Anne Palmer, Esq. [Argued], Thomas W. Dolgenos, Esq., Ronald Eisenberg, Esq., Arnold H. Gordon, Esq., Lynne Abraham, Esq., District Attorney's Office, Philadelphia County, Philadelphia, PA, Attorneys for Appellees.
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