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State v. Burton

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

January 30, 2014

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
LAMAR BURTON Defendant.

Submitted: January 29, 2014

Upon Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration of Commissioner's Order and/or Appeal of Commissioner's Findings of Fact and Recommendations upon Defendant's Motion Dismiss, DENIED.

Robert M. Goff, Esquire, Assistant Public Defender

Sarita R. Wright, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General

OPINION

M. JANE BRADY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.

I. Introduction

Before the Court is a Motion for Reconsideration of Commissioner's Order and/or Appeal of Commissioner's Findings of Fact and Recommendations. The Order in question denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by Lamar Burton ("Defendant") pursuant to Criminal Rule 62(a)(5).[1] At a hearing on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Indictment, the Commissioner heard argument and made proposed findings of facts and recommendations on the record that were incorporated by reference into the Commissioner's Order, which states:

For the reasons fully set forth on the record on Dec[ember] 9, 2013, HAVING CONSIDERED the State's Reply to the Petitioner's Motion for Dismissal, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, this 9th day of Dec[ember], 2013, that the State's request is granted and the Defendant's Motion is hereby DENIED. [2]

Defendant filed the present Motion on December 12, 2013. Pursuant to Rule 62(a)(5)(iii), a transcript of the proceedings below was filed with the Court on January 6, 2014. The State filed a letter and response in opposition with the Court on January 27, 2014, which the Court received in chambers on January 29, 2014.[3] For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration of Commissioner's Order and/or Appeal of Commissioner's Findings of Fact and Recommendations upon Defendant's Motion Dismiss is DENIED.

II. Background

On January 15, 2013, Defendant was shot in his right hip during a shooting that occurred near 511 North Jefferson Street in Wilmington, Delaware. Defendant was transported from the scene of the shooting to the hospital and, as a result, was not interviewed on the day he was shot. Weeks later, on February 12, 2013, Detective Micheal Gifford ("Det. Gifford") interviewed Defendant over the telephone in an attempt to ascertain who was responsible for the shooting. During a seven minute telephone interview, which was audio recorded, Defendant stated to Det. Gifford that a man named Chris was the individual who shot him, and that Chris went to Defendant's grandmother's home to apologize for the shooting. Defendant also provided Det. Gifford with information about Chris—including, for example, his physical description and the neighborhood where he is from—and stated that he has known Chris for many years. Det. Gifford only spoke to Defendant once on February 12, 2013.

Det. Gifford conducted a follow-up telephone interview with Defendant on March 4, 2013, which, like the initial interview, was audio recorded. Det. Gifford explained to Defendant that he could not locate Chris. Defendant thereafter informed Det. Gifford that he lied when he identified Chris as the shooter, and stated that a different individual, who he named, was responsible for the shooting. Defendant was arrested on June 29, 2013 for Hindering Prosecution and Providing a False Statement to a Law Enforcement Official. The indictment charges, inter alia, that Defendant

on or about the 12th day of February 2013 in the County of New Castle, State of Delaware, did knowingly provide a false oral statement to Det. Michael Gifford, a law enforcement officer of agency, which is material to the investigation with the intent to prevent, hinder, or delay the investigation of a felony crime or offense.[4]

According to the State, Defendant received a summary of his February 12, 2013 statements to Det. ...


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