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State v. Jones

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

March 27, 2013

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
JOSHUA N. JONES, Defendant.

Submitted: December 20, 2012

Upon Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief

Sarita R. Wright, Deputy Attorney General Joshua N. Jones, Defendant

ORDER

Fred S. Silverman Judge

1. On October 31, 2011, Defendant pleaded guilty to rape first degree. During the plea colloquy, Defendant personally assured the court, twice, he was "in fact" guilty. Defendant also assured the court, orally and in writing, that no one had threatened, forced or promised him anything to get him to enter the plea. Further, both the paperwork, which Defendant told the court had been reviewed with him "line-by-line, " and the court, itself, told Defendant "the best" he could hope for at sentencing "is a sentence of twenty-five years, and it could be as much as [] life." Finally, Defendant assured the court, orally and in writing, that his plea was "voluntary." Now, Defendant claims his lawyer let him down.

2. Defendant's admissions made sense. According to the affidavit of probable cause, Defendant videotaped himself receiving oral sex from a young child. While Defendant's face could not be seen in the video, he was otherwise recognizable. And, when the victim's relative confronted him, he confessed. The relative also had Defendant's written admission. Defendant's admissions of guilt, therefore, were consistent with the State's evidence.

3. After a presentence investigation, Defendant was sentenced on February 3, 2012, to 35 years in prison followed by many years of probation at decreasing levels. The sentence was worse than Defendant hoped for, but far less than it might have been. A life sentence was, indeed, possible.

4. Defendant did not file a direct appeal concerning either his plea or sentence. Before filing this motion for postconviction of relief, however, Defendant asked the sentencing judge for a sentence reduction, which was denied by the sentencing judge on April 12, 2012. As explained below, this motion for postconviction relief seems intended more to achieve that sentence reduction than the guilty plea's vacation and trial on the merits.

5. On November 14, 2012, Defendant filed a timely motion for postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61. The prothonotary properly referred the matter.[1]

6. In his words, Defendant claims, with little elaboration:

• [I] was never given Discovery packet of evidence (Rule 16) - (Lawyer says it was stolen from him);
• Lawyer didn't object to attack on character at sentencing;
• Lawyer threatened me with more time and harsher charges to scare me into ...

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