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Johnson v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

March 10, 2014

RONALD N. JOHNSON, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee

Submitted December 27, 2013.

Case Closed March 26, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below--Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for Kent County. Cr. ID No. 9812007273A.

Before HOLLAND, BERGER and JACOBS, Justices.

OPINION

Jack B. Jacobs, Justice.

ORDER

This 10th day of March 2014, upon consideration of the parties' briefs and the Superior Court record, it appears to the Court that:

(1) In 1999, a Superior Court jury convicted the appellant, Ronald N. Johnson, of Menacing and Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited (" PDWBPP" ). On October 21, l999, Johnson was sentenced, as an habitual offender, to eighteen years at Level V.

(2) In 2002, on direct appeal, we affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court.[1] In 2009, we affirmed the dismissal of Johnson's first motion for postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 (" Rule 61" ).[2] This appeal is fro the Superior Court order dated January 9, 2013, which denied Johnson's second motion for postconviction relief.

(3) Johnson filed his second postconviction motion on June 7, 2010 and two supplements to that motion on June 18, and July 2, 2010. In his postconviction motion as supplemented (hereinafter " motion" ), Johnson raised overlapping claims of judicial bias, ineffective assistance of counsel, improper amendment to indictment, and illegal conviction of PDWBPP. Johnson also alleged that he was ineligible for sentencing as an habitual offender, that a Superior Court colloquy on self-representation was inadequate, and that there were errors in the jury instructions.

(4) Johnson's motion was referred to a Superior Court Commissioner who directed that Johnson's former counsel file an affidavit in response to the allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel, and that the State file a response to the motion. After counsel filed the affidavit, Johnson again filed a supplement to the motion. Johnson also filed a reply to the State's response.

(5) Johnson next filed a " motion for recusal" and a " motion for expansion of the record." By order dated June 29, 2011, the Commissioner denied both motions. On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed the denial of the " motion for expansion of the record" but remanded the " motion for recusal" for a more thorough analysis. On remand, the Commissioner again denied the " motion for recusal" by order dated September 9, 2011. Also, by order dated August 5, 2011, the Superior Court denied a second " motion for recusal" ...


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