Submitted: September 24, 2014
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE SUMMARILY DISMISSED.
James J. Kriner, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.
Victor Grantham, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, pro se.
This 10th day of October 2014, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
1. On February 19, 2009, Defendant Victor Grantham pled guilty to the charge of Murder in the Second Degree. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed to dismiss six additional felony charges in connection with the shooting death of Annibel Ramirez.
2. Following a pre-sentencing investigation, on May 1, 2009, Defendant was sentenced to 50 years incarceration at Level V, suspended after 30 years, followed by 10 years of Level III probation.
3. On direct appeal, on May 10, 2010, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence. On May 26, 2010, the Delaware Supreme Court issued its mandate to the Superior Court directing the affirmance of Defendant's conviction and sentence. Thus, Defendant's judgment of conviction became final in May 2010.
4. Defendant filed a motion for modification of sentence. By Order dated September 17, 2009, the Superior Court denied the motion on the basis that the sentence was appropriate for all the reasons stated at the time of sentencing.
5. On August 24, 2011, Defendant filed a petition to the Superior Court for a writ of habeas corpus. In his petition, Defendant claimed that: a) his guilty plea was coerced; b) he was "actually innocent" of the murder charge; c) there was insufficient evidence to support a charge of second degree murder; and d) he received ineffective assistance of counsel in connection with his guilty plea. By Order dated September 20, 2011, the Superior Court denied Defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In the Order denying Defendant's petition the Superior Court expressly stated that "[t]he issues in defendant's petition are more properly raised in Rule 61 proceedings, if not procedurally barred."
6. Defendant appealed the denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus to the Delaware Supreme Court. By Order dated February 6, 2012, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Defendant's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Delaware Supreme Court held that Defendant's claims relating to his guilty plea and his counsel's performance were not cognizable in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Delaware Supreme Court, like the Superior Court, also instructed Defendant ...