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State v. Reynolds

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

April 23, 2013

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
DAVID I. REYNOLDS, Defendant.

Upon Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief

Kathleen M. Jennings, Deputy Attorney General Reginald D. Jackson, Defendant.

ORDER

Fred S. Silverman Judge

1. On February 17, 2012, a jury convicted Defendant of robbery second degree. The verdict was taken by a judge who did not preside over the trial, but who nevertheless immediately imposed a fifteen month prison sentence followed by probation at decreasing levels.

2. At trial, Defendant was represented by court-appointed counsel. Defendant was represented by a different court-appointed attorney on direct appeal. Defend ant's appellate counsel, who specializes in appeals, filed a motion to withdraw under Supreme Court Rule 26(c). Although given the opportunity to do so, as called for by the rule, Defendant did not submit any claims for the Supreme Court's consideration.

3. After reviewing the record carefully, the Supreme Court concluded that Defendant's appeal was wholly without merit and devoid of any arguably appealable issue.[1] Accordingly, Defendant's conviction was affirmed on October 18, 2012.

4. Defendant attempted to file a motion for postconviction relief on February 21, 2013. The court rejected the motion because it was not signed. Moreover, the court observed:

Also, if Mr. Reynolds expects relief, he will have to explain why he did not raise his claims during direct appeal. For example, the claim that he was not sentenced by the trial judge is an appeal issue.

On March 25, 2013, Defendant filed a signed motion, which the Prothonotary properly referred for preliminarily consideration[2].

5. Defendant offers three grounds for postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61:

First, Defendant claims ineffective assistance of counsel because, 'Counsel should confer with client without delay as often as necessary, or to ascertain that potential defense, counsel violated DE Lawyer Rules 1.1, 1.2, 1.3';
Second, Defendant 'did not understand questions asked during plea colloquy[.] Counsel should have promptly advised client of his rights. Counsel did not take legal action, to protect right to understand fully what client is accused [of].'
Third, 'Counsel refused to make pre-trial motions[, ] over vital motions for preparations of defense. Defense counsel admitting with outburst that his client is guilty. Prejudice any defense statute, strategies[.]'
Fourth, Defendant was sentenced by a judge other than the trial judge. The sentencing judge "now is 'partial' not knowing facts presented, [trial judge's] opinion of sentence would be impartial, and in position to give fair and appropriate ...

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