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Anderson v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

July 14, 2014

HARRY W. ANDERSON, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee

Submitted May 2, 2014

Case Closed July 30, 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 New Castle County. Cr. ID No. 1206018361.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice, BERGER and RIDGELY, Justices.

OPINION

ORDER

Henry duPont Ridgely Justice

This 14th day of July 2014, upon consideration of the parties' briefs and the Superior Court record, it appears to the Court that:

(1) This is a direct appeal in a Superior Court criminal case. On February 14, 2014, the appellant, Harry W. Anderson, was granted leave to proceed pro se on appeal. Because Anderson's claims on appeal are related to two Court of Common Pleas (" CCP" ) criminal cases in which he was involved in 2012 and 2013, the Court has taken judicial notice of those cases and briefly summarized them below.

(2) In the 2012 CCP case, Anderson was arrested on June 8, 2012 on charges of Resisting Arrest and Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree.[1] Anderson pled guilty to Resisting Arrest on September 13, 2012, but was allowed to withdraw the plea on December 4, 2012. On February 21, 2013, the case was dismissed, and on June 6, 2013, a cell phone and other property seized from Anderson incident to his arrest were returned to him.[2] In the 2013 CCP case, Anderson was arrested on August 6, 2013 on charges of Burglary in the Third Degree, Possession of a Burglary Tool, Misdemeanor Theft, and Criminal Mischief.[3] The case was dismissed on September 23, 2013.[4]

(3) In the Superior Court case from which this appeal arises, Anderson was arrested on June 22, 2012, and was indicted on September 24, 2012, on multiple counts of Felony Theft, Burglary in the Third Degree, and Criminal Mischief. On January 24, 2013, after an extended colloguy, Anderson pled guilty to two counts of Burglary in the Third Degree. In exchange the State dismissed the balance of the indictment, agreed to seek habitual offender sentencing on only one count, and recommend no more than six years at Level V on that count. The parties further agreed to a presentence investigation.

(4) Thereafter, between April 10, 2013 and September 9, 2013, subsequent to his guilty plea but prior to his sentencing, Anderson filed a series of pro se letters, motions, and a habeas corpus petition. Generally, Anderson's pro se submissions sought a dismissal of the Superior Court charges because, according to Anderson, the evidence against him was the same evidence that, according to Anderson, was illegally seized in his 2012 and 2013 CCP cases.[5]

(5) Anderson's sentencing was held on September 20, 2013. At the outset of the sentencing proceeding, the Superior Court allowed Anderson to make an oral motion to withdraw his guilty plea. When asked to give his reasons for withdrawing the plea, Anderson asserted that he " was totally under duress" at the January 24, 2013 guilty plea proceeding because his defense counsel had refused to file a motion to suppress and to take other action in support of his defense.[6] Anderson also asserted that withdrawal of the guilty plea was justified because his defense counsel had a conflict of interest.[7] After hearing from Anderson and his defense counsel, the Superior Court ...


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