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State v. Weber

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

July 29, 2014

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
PAUL EDWARD WEBER Defendant.

Submitted: April 22, 2014

Andrew Vella, Esquire, Department of Justice, Attorney for State of Delaware.

Leo John Ramunno, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant.

Paul E. Weber, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Pro Se Defendant.

OPINION

William C. Carpenter, Jr. Judge

Before this Court is a plethora of motions, letters, and other requests sent to this Court in connection with Defendant Paul Weber's ("Weber") criminal conviction and sentence. This is the Court's attempt to synthesize all of Defendant's requests made both through counsel and pro se. After a careful review of the record and the overwhelming amount of filings made on the defense side of this case, the Court was able to separate the requests into two categories: (I) the Rule 35 Motions and related requests and (II) the Rule 61 Motion and related requests. Each will be addressed in turn.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A grand jury indicted Weber on September 20, 2004, on charges of Attempted Robbery First Degree and Attempted Carjacking First Degree. In March 2005, following a trial, a jury convicted Weber of both charges. As a result, this Court sentenced Weber to 25 years at Level V for Attempted Robbery First Degree, and three years at Level V for Attempted Carjacking First Degree. Weber appealed his convictions and sentences.

On appeal, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Weber's conviction for Attempted Carjacking First Degree. However, the court reversed Weber's conviction for Attempted Robbery First Degree and remanded for a new trial on the basis that this Court erroneously denied Weber an instruction on the lesser included offense of Offensive Touching.

The State retried Weber for Attempted Robbery First Degree in April 2010. The jury, again, convicted him. Weber filed a post-trial motion for judgment of acquittal, which this Court denied. In July 2010, the State moved to declare Weber a habitual offender for sentencing purposes, which this Court granted following a December 17, 2010 habitual offender hearing. In October 2010, Weber moved to enforce a plea bargain the State had previously offered. This Court denied Weber's motion in a memorandum opinion stating that Weber had rejected the State's plea bargain and instead had chosen to go to trial. Weber also moved to have his sentences merged. This Court denied that motion as well.

This Court later sentenced Weber to 25 years at Level V for Attempted Robbery First Degree. Weber then appealed his second conviction and sentence, which was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court on February 21, 2012. Thereafter, counsel for Defendant filed three motions under Superior Court Criminal Rule 35 and Defendant filed a Motion for Postconviction Relief under Rule 61 with related motions for appointment of counsel and a hearing. This is the Court's decision on those motions.

DISCUSSION

I. The Rule 35 Motions

There are three Rule 35 Motions pending: (A) Motion for Correction of Sentence; (B) Motion for Sentencing Hearing and Correction of Sentence; and (C) Motion to Vacate.[1] The State has made one blanket response to all three motions; that they are not appropriate under Rule 35 as they challenge issues that occurred before sentencing. Specifically, the first motion seeks to challenge the State's revocation of a plea agreement, the second, the declaration of habitual offender status, and the third, the retrial after the Supreme Court's reversal. The first two motions do not fit within Rule 35's scope and, while reviewed below, will be summarily denied. The third motion, which rests on double jeopardy ...


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