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State v. Wheeler

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

October 3, 2013

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
DAEMONT L. WHEELER, Defendant.

Submitted: October 2, 2013

RK10-04-0402-01 Att. Murder 1st (F) RK10-04-0403-01 PFDCF (F) RK10-04-0404-01 RK10-04-0405-01 PFBPP (F)

Upon Consideration of Defendant's Motion For Postconviction Relief Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61

R. David Favata, Esq., Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.

Daemont L. Wheeler, Pro se.

ORDER

Robert B. YOUNG, Judge

Upon consideration of the Defendant's Motion For Postconviction Relief, the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation and the record in this case, it appears that:

1. The Defendant, Daemont L. Wheeler ("Wheeler"), was found guilty following a jury a trial on April 7, 2011, as charged, of one count of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 531; one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, 11 Del. C. § 1447A; and two counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited, 11 Del. C. § 1448. The State filed a motion to declare Morrison a Habitual Offender pursuant to 11 Del. C. § 4214(A). Following a hearing, the motion was granted on June 30, 2011, and the Defendant was sentenced to life in prison on the Attempted Murder charge and to an additional thirty-eight years incarceration on the remaining charges.

2. Wheeler, through new counsel, appealed his conviction to the Delaware Supreme Court. The issues raised on appeal were summarized by the Supreme Court as follows:

In this direct appeal, Wheeler argues that his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation was violated when the Superior Court admitted into evidence hearsay statements by persons who did not testify at the trial. Wheeler's argument raises two distinct questions: whether the testimony presented violated the hearsay rule and whether that testimony violated the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause. We have concluded that both questions must be answered in the affirmative. We have also concluded, however, that the erroneous admission of the testimonial hearsay evidence was harmless.[1]

The Supreme Court, on February 7, 2012, affirmed Wheeler's conviction and sentence.[2]

3. Wheeler then filed the instant Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Rule 61. In his motion the defendant raised the following grounds for relief: 1) Ineffective assistance of trial Counsel; 2) Ineffective assistance of direct appeal; 3) Speedy Trial violation; and 4) Prosecutorial Misconduct.

4. The Court referred this motion to Superior Court Commissioner Andrea M. Freud pursuant to 10 Del. C. § 512(b) and Superior Court Criminal Rule 62 for proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law.

5.The Commissioner has filed a Report and Recommendation concluding that the Motion For Postconviction Relief should be denied, because it is procedurally barred by Rule 61(i)(3) for failure to prove cause and prejudice and as previously adjudicated and barred by Rule 61(i)(4).

6. Defendant filed his Appeal from the Commissioners findings on August 27, 2013.

7. The State responded.

NOW, THEREFORE, after de novo review of the record in this action, and for reasons stated in the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation dated August 20, 2013,

IT IS ORDERED that the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation is adopted by the Court, and the Defendant's Motion for ...


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