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State v. Wynn

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

August 20, 2013

State
v.
Itius D. Wynn

Matthew B. Frawley, Esquire Department of Justice

Leroy A. Tice, Esquire Aber Baker & Over

Dear Counsel:

Defendant has filed a Rule 35 motion seeking a reduction of the 24 year sentence imposed by the court on August 27, 2010. The primary basis for his motion is that (1) the court did not accord sufficient weight to Mr. Wynn's educational and employment efforts prior to his arrest; (2) the court made an error of material fact when it concluded that Defendant was terminated from a job program prior to his arrest because of his poor attendance; (3) the court made another error of material fact when it concluded that Defendant did not accept responsibility for his acts; and (4) Defendant's "extraordinary" efforts at rehabilitation since his conviction warrant a reduction is sentence. For the reasons which follow, the court concludes that the first contention is procedurally barred and the remaining contentions are without merit.

Defendant's Crime

On Halloween night in 2009, twenty-five year old Dominique Daniago was entertaining friends at her home on Howland Street in Wilmington. During the party Ms. Daniago was approached by a Defendant and another Hispanic male, who asked her if they could join the party. She refused because she did not know them. A verbal exchange followed between the two males and some of the guests at the party, during which one of the guests hurled a racial epithet about President Obama. The two males told the partiers they would be back.

Roughly 15 minutes later the males returned. They encountered some of the party goers outside Ms. Daniago's home. Defendant, who had a .357 magnum with him, told the partiers "I want to know who is the racist mother fucker who made the comment." By this time several other guests came outside and the two groups began to yell at one another. At this point Defendant pulled out his weapon and fired three shots. One shot missed--the others did not. One struck one of the guests in his chest, narrowly missing his heart. As it was, this victim suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured rib and a fractured shoulder. He spent a week in intensive care and required a second hospitalization. A second victim was hit by the remaining shot, which shattered bone and ligaments and severed an artery in his right hand. The second victim had to undergo several surgeries. As a result of his wounds the second victim has severely restricted blood flow to his wrist and will never regain full strength and flexibility to his hand. Ms. Daniago and others have suffered psychological injuries as a result of this event.

Defendant's contentions

(1) The court did not properly take into account Defendants educational and employment efforts

Defendant points to various job and educational programs he participated in prior to his arrest and states he was in the process of obtaining tuition assistance from Strayer University. The court notes in passing that in his motion Defendant contends he "had views toward obtaining a degree in Information Technology." However, the documentation submitted by Strayer University indicated he was to be in a non-degree program.

Defendant does not contend the court was unaware of his efforts. He did not mention in his motion that the court acknowledged those efforts at sentencing. The court assumes, therefore, that Defendant is arguing that the court did not give those factors sufficient weight when it imposed sentence.

This contention is procedurally barred. Criminal Rule 35 provides that this court will ordinarily not entertain a motion for a sentence modification made more than 90 days after imposition of the sentence. The rule carves out an exception when "extraordinary circumstances" are present. A request to reweigh factors already known to the court falls squarely within this procedural bar. Defendant has not shown any extraordinary circumstances, and therefore this contention is barred.

(2) The court erred when it concluded that Defendant was terminated from Job Corps because of poor attendance.

At sentencing the court noted that Defendant was terminated from Job Corps because of his poor attendance. Defendant now contends that this was not "entirely true." He now asserts that he simply stopped going to Job Corps ...


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