Submitted: November 27, 2013
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE DENIED AND COUNSEL'S MOTION TO WITHDRAW SHOULD BE GRANTED.
Mark A. Denney, Jr., Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.
Brian J. Chapman, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant Jay M. Ringgold.
This 10th day of February, 2014, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief and Defendant's Rule 61 Counsel's Motion to Withdraw, it appears to the Court that:
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
1. On August 2, 2010, Defendant Jay M. Ringgold was indicted on one count of Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited (hereinafter "PDWBPP").
2. The trial was continued once from December 2, 2010 to March 8, 2011, in order to allow DNA testing to be performed. The DNA results could have potentially been exculpatory and used in favor of the defense. The DNA results were, however, inconclusive and the court granted Defendant's motion in limine to exclude the DNA test results at trial.
3. Defendant Ringgold was tried before a Superior Court judge on March 9, 2011. At the conclusion of the bench trial, the Superior Court convicted Defendant Ringgold of PDWBPP. On June 3, 2011, the Superior Court declared Defendant Ringgold a habitual offender and sentenced him to eight years, minimum mandatory, at Level V.
4. Defendant filed a direct appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court. On direct appeal, Defendant's counsel filed a brief and a motion to withdraw pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 26 (c). On March 20, 2012, the Delaware Supreme Court found Defendant's claims to be without merit and affirmed the conviction and sentence of the Superior Court.
5. The charge at issue stems from the following facts as set forth by the Delaware Supreme Court in its opinion on Defendant's direct appeal.
6. While executing a search warrant on June 18, 2010 in a drug investigation, Wilmington police detectives discovered a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and holster in the basement of 2913 N. Washington Street, Wilmington, Delaware. From their prior surveillance of this residence, from identifying documents found in the storage box where the gun and holster were located, and from other evidence and observations, the police surmised that the gun and holster belonged to Defendant Ringgold. Defendant Ringgold was not present when the police executed the warrant.
7. The other evidence and observations from which the police surmised that the gun and holster belonged to Defendant Ringgold included the fact that Ringgold's driver's license listed 2913 N. Washington Street as his residence. Ringgold's personal possessions were found in an upstairs bedroom. Ringgold provided the ...