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Quill v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

September 12, 2014

FRANCIS QUILL, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee

Submitted June 23, 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. 1304016180.

Before HOLLAND, RIDGELY and VALIHURA, Justices.

ORDER

Henry duPont Ridgely, Justice

This 12th day of September 2014, upon consideration of the appellant's brief filed under Supreme Court Rule 26(c) (" Rule 26(c)" ), his attorney's motion to withdraw, and the State's response, it appears to the Court that:

(1) Alderman Machine Shop (AMS) and Delaware Plumbing Supply (DPS) are neighboring businesses located on North Dupont Highway in New Castle, Delaware. DPS, a wholesale plumbing supply company, has a two-acre fenced-in storage yard behind its main warehouse where it stores the larger pipes and fittings that it sells.

(2) On April 17, 2013, between 7:00 and 7:15 a.m., Randolph Stevenson, an AMS auto mechanic, arrived at work to find a man on AMS' property, loading metal fittings and other plumbing components belonging to DPS into the trunk of a green Chevrolet cavalier. Stevenson did not recognize the man or the car. When Stevenson approached the man and asked him what he was doing, the man dropped the fittings he was holding and replied that he was not taking AMS' property. The man then got in the car and left.

(3) After the man left, Stevenson went next door and told DPS manager, Michael Poppiti, that he had just caught someone in the back removing DPS' property. Poppiti immediately inspected the fenced-in storage yard and saw that fittings and other plumbing components had been moved closer to a section of fence separating DPS from AMS. Poppiti also noticed that the same section of fence -- and the barbed wire on top -- was bent or pushed down, and that fittings and components belonging to DPS were on AMS' side of the fence. Poppiti had not given anyone permission to enter the fenced-in area to remove the fittings and components.

(4) Delaware State Police Corporal Scott Linus was assigned to investigate the matter that morning. Cpl. Linus learned that, just after 7:30 a.m., a man driving a green Chevrolet cavalier sold 800 pounds of metal to Eastern Metal Recycling (EMR), a scrap metal company located three or four miles from DPS. Ronald Dagenais, an EMR employee, provided Cpl. Linus with a copy of the man's photo ID and surveillance photos that showed the man and his car in the EMR scrap yard earlier that morning. Also, Dagenais told Cpl. Linus that the man, Francis Quill, was a regular customer of EMR.

(5) From a photo lineup prepared by Cpl. Linus, Stevenson picked Quill as the man he saw earlier that morning loading the property belonging to DPS into a green Chevrolet cavalier. Also, DPS branch manager, Todd Wise, identified the items that Quill sold to EMR as property belonging to DPS.

(6) In May 2013, Quill was indicted on charges of Theft and Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree. After a two-day trial in September 2013, the jury convicted Quill on the theft charge. The State entered a nolle prosequi on the criminal trespass charge when the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on that charge. On December 13, 2013, the Superior Court granted the State's habitual offender motion and sentenced Quill to three years at Level V. This is Quill's direct appeal.

(7) On appeal, Quill's trial counsel (" Counsel" ) has filed a brief and a motion to withdraw under Rule 26(c) asserting that there are no arguably appealable issues. Quill, through Counsel, has submitted several issues for the Court's consideration. The State has responded to ...


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