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State v. Page

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

August 13, 2013

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
DARREL PAGE, Defendant

Submitted: April 30, 2013

Darrel Page, SBI 00, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware.

Kathleen M. Jennings, Esquire, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Eric M. Davis Judge

Trial, Conviction and Sentencing

1. On June 17, 2003, after a trial by jury, Mr. Page was convicted of three counts of Murder in the First Degree, one count of Robbery Second Degree, one count of Conspiracy First Degree, one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and various weapons charges. After the penalty phase on the Murder in the First Degree charges, the jury recommended a death sentence for Mr. Page. On February 24, 2006, the Court sentenced Mr. Page to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for each count of Murder in the First Degree.

2. Mr. Page appealed his convictions and sentence to the Delaware Supreme Court. He was represented by counsel separate from his trial counsel in that proceeding. In the appeal, Mr. Page contended that (1) the State violated his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial; (2) he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial; and (3) the trial judge erred in admitting certain evidence -- photographs, crime scene video, and a video of an out-of-court statement to police by Kim Still, a State witness.

3. In an Opinion dated October 19, 2007, the Supreme Court affirmed Mr. Page's convictions and sentences. The Court held that Mr. Page was not denied his right to a speedy trial, and that this Court did not err or abuse its discretion in admitting the photographs and videos. The Supreme Court, however, did not address Mr. Page's ineffective assistance of counsel claims because that argument had not yet been considered by this Court.

First Rule 61 Motion For Postconviction Relief

4. Mr. Page, through counsel, filed his first motion for postconviction relief on October 10, 2008. In addition, Mr. Page, acting pro se, also filed a "first" motion for postconviction relief on October 30, 2008. Mr. Page also attempted to amend his pro se motion for postconviction relief on March 17, 2009. The Court rejected the amendment and went forward on the earlier filed motions. In the motions, Mr. Page claimed he had been denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. This Court directed Mr. Page's two trial attorneys to submit affidavits in response to the motion. One attorney denied Mr. Page's allegations, and the other did not respond. On April 28, 2009, the Court denied in part and summarily dismissed in part Mr. Page's motion. Mr. Page, again represented by counsel, moved for reconsideration of the motion, and the Court denied his request.

5. Mr. Page appealed this Court's denial of his postconviction motion for relief on the basis that he did not receive copies of his attorneys' affidavits or an opportunity to respond to them. On August 7, 2009, the Supreme Court remanded Mr. Page's motion to this Court. The Supreme Court remanded the motion so that Mr. Page would have an opportunity to respond to the affidavits filed by his trial attorneys.

6. On remand, on October 5, 2009, this Court denied in part and summarily dismissed in part Mr. Page's motion.

7. Mr. Page appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. After briefing and argument, the Supreme Court concluded that the record in this case was "inadequate and incomplete for the purposes of appellate review." The Supreme Court once again remanded the motion to this Court in an order dated January 19, 2010. The Supreme Court instructed this Court to specifically consider "the State's Constitutional obligations: (a) to provide counsel who are prepared to go to trial in a timely manner, and (b) to provide timely and adequate funding to defray the cost of necessary defense expert witnesses"[1] for Mr. Page's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

8. On February 9, 2010, Mr. Page, through counsel, submitted an amended motion for postconviction relief. Following the submission of affidavits and memoranda of law, and an evidentiary hearing, the Court denied Mr. Page's motion on March 17, 2010. Mr. Page appealed this Court's ...


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