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Williams v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

August 21, 2014

KEVIN WILLIAMS, Defendant Below-Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below-Appellee

Submitted June 30, 2014

Case Closed September 8, 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 1204002559.

Before HOLLAND, RIDGELY, and VALIHURA, Justices.


Randy J. Holland, Justice

This 21st day of August 2014, upon consideration of the appellant's brief filed under Supreme Court Rule 26(c), his attorney's motion to withdraw, and the State's response thereto, it appears to the Court that:

(1) In June 2013, a Superior Court jury convicted the appellant, Kevin Williams, on five counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the First Degree and one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child. The State ultimately dismissed two of Williams' convictions for Unlawful Sexual Contact. On his four remaining convictions, the Superior Court sentenced Williams to a total period of twenty-nine years at Level 5 imprisonment, to be suspended after serving twenty-three years in prison for decreasing levels of supervision. This is Williams' direct appeal.

(2) Williams' counsel on appeal has filed a brief and a motion to withdraw under Rule 26(c). Williams' counsel asserts that, based upon a complete and careful examination of the record, there are no arguably appealable issues. By letter, Williams' attorney informed him of the provisions of Rule 26(c) and provided Williams with a copy of the motion to withdraw and the accompanying brief. Williams also was informed of his right to supplement his attorney's presentation. Williams has raised several issues for this Court's consideration. The State has responded to the position taken by Williams' counsel, as well as to the points raised by Williams, and has moved to affirm the Superior Court's judgment.

(3) The standard and scope of review applicable to the consideration of a motion to withdraw and an accompanying brief under Rule 26(c) is twofold: (a) this Court must be satisfied that defense counsel has made a conscientious examination of the record and the law for arguable claims; and (b) this Court must conduct its own review of the record and determine whether the appeal is so totally devoid of at least arguably appealable issues that it can be decided without an adversary presentation.[1]

(4) Williams initially was indicted in November 2012 on nineteen charges of unlawful sexual contact and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.[2] Williams ultimately went to trial on only six charges. The victims were Williams' minor daughters, both of whom testified against him at his four-day jury trial. Williams' older daughter testified about three specific incidents of molestation occurring between 2003, when the victim was 8 years old, and 2009. Williams' younger daughter also testified against him about two specific incidents of molestation. Williams testified in his own defense. He denied ever touching either of his daughters in an inappropriate way. The jury convicted Williams of all six charges, although the State later dismissed two of those charges.

(5) On appeal, Williams has submitted a sixteen-page typed document that raises a number of overlapping issues. Williams' arguments generally are that: (i) the State committed a Brady [3] violation by failing to provide Williams with a copy of a police report dated November 10, 2011; (ii) the Superior Court erred in denying the jury's request to have a copy of the November 10, 2011 police report during its deliberations; (iii) the victims' out-of-court statements and trial testimony contained various discrepancies and were inconsistent with the statements reflected in the November 10, 2011 police report; (iv) his attorney-client privilege was violated because his first lawyer tricked Williams into unknowingly signing a waiver of his preliminary hearing and then later went to work for the Attorney General's office; and (v) the prosecutor engaged in misconduct.

(6) With respect to Williams' claim of a Brady violation, the State asserts that Williams had copies of all of the police reports, the Child Advocacy Center interview, and the affidavit of probable cause. The trial transcript confirms that defense counsel had copies of the documents and the taped interview because they were referred to by defense counsel in his cross-examination of the State's witnesses and were used to point out inconsistencies between the victims' prior statements and their testimony at trial. Because the State provided defense counsel with the police reports and victim statements, there is no factual basis for Williams' claim of a Brady violation. Moreover, because defense counsel did not request that the November 2011 ...

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