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Starkey v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

September 10, 2013

PIERRE STARKEY, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.

Submitted: September 4, 2013

Court Below – Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County Cr. I.D. No. 1205019677

Before HOLLAND, BERGER and RIDGELY, Justices.


Randy J. Holland Justice

This 10th day of September 2013, it appears to the Court that:

1) The defendant-appellant, Pierre Starkey ("Starkey"), appeals from Superior Court's denial of his Motion to Suppress evidence and judgments of conviction for Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited, and Resisting Arrest.

2) Starkey raises one claim on appeal. Starkey claims that the search warrant was defective because it failed to set forth sufficient facts necessary to establish probable cause within the "four corners" of the document.

3) We have concluded that argument is without merit. Therefore, the judgments of the Superior Court must be affirmed.

4) On May 10, 2012, Tamekia Kearney ("Kearney") and two friends were inside her home at 212 N. Franklin Street, when Tymire Perez ("Tymire") knocked on the door and asked for Kearney's roommate. Kearney told Tymire that her roommate was not home, and as she began to close the door, Tymire and four other individuals forced themselves into her home armed with handguns. Three of the individuals went upstairs and ransacked the bedrooms, while the other two forced Kearney and her two friends into the living room. The intruders stole money, Kearney's laptop computer, and her AT&T serviced HTC cell phone ("the HTC cell phone").[1]All five intruders then fled. As Kearney ran to a friend's house for safety, two of the intruders fired shots at her. Police recovered a shell casing on the 100 block of South Franklin Street and the front door of Kearney's home had damage consistent with forced entry.

5) Later that day, Kearney walked into the Wilmington Police station and reported the home invasion/robbery at her residence. She stated that she knew some of the individuals and gave descriptions to the police. In addition to Tymire, Kearney recognized and was able to describe to police two of the other intruders: Talib Perez ("Perez"), Tymire's brother, [2] and Shakur Black ("Black"). She was able to identify all three of these individuals from photographs. She did not know the other two suspects, but described one as "tall" and the other as "short."

6) Police were aware of another investigation involving Tymire and a man named Lynel Cooper ("Cooper"). Cooper matched the description of the "tall" intruder given by Kearney, and she later confirmed that Cooper was the fourth assailant. The remaining unidentified "short" intruder was described by Kearney as light-skinned black or Hispanic male, wearing a gray fitted hat, blue and white jacket, and black cargo shorts.

7) Kearney told police that Perez and Tymire lived at 1303 Lancaster Avenue. At the same time Kearney was giving her statement, Wilmington police responded to the area of Lancaster Avenue and Franklin Street regarding a complaint of shots fired. Descriptions of the suspects were given to the responding officers and once at the scene, police saw Perez exiting 1303 Lancaster Avenue. The police took Perez into custody, and once back at the station, he was immediately identified by Kearney as one of the home-intruders.

8) Shantell Pritchett ("Pritchett"), the mother of Tymire and Perez, contacted Detective Chaffin and told him that Perez was not involved in the home invasion. She informed Detective Chaffin that Black had told her that Perez was not involved in the incident and that it was a man named "Peedie" that Kearney was confusing for Perez. According to Pritchett, Black also told her that Kearney had made up the story about the home invasion. Further, Pritchett told police that Peedie himself had called her from Verizon wireless number (302) 256-6123 and told her Perez was not involved. Police knew from previous investigations that Pierre Starkey's ("Starkey") nickname was Peedie, and that he was wanted by police for an earlier robbery/shooting.

9) Pritchett told police that Peedie had called her a second time from the same phone number, and that she had found out that his real name was Pierre Starkey. Pritchett identified Starkey in a lineup. Starkey was arrested as he was leaving his grandfather's residence at 1325 Chestnut Street. At the time of his arrest, Starkey was in possession of two cell phones: (1) an LG model serviced by Verizon (the "LG cell ...

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