Submitted: September 15, 2014
On Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief.
Daniel B. McBride, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State
Nigel C. Sykes, Wilmington, Delaware, pro se
Richard R. Cooch, R.J.
This 5th day of November, 2014, upon consideration of Defendant's pro se First Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:
1. Defendant Nigel C. Sykes pled guilty in July 2011 to one count of Robbery First Degree, two counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony, one count of Attempted Robbery First Degree, and one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited.
2. Prior to sentencing, Defendant filed a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea. The motion was denied by this Court and the denial was subsequently affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court. In denying Defendant's Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea, this Court found, and the Supreme Court agreed, that Defendant's plea was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered, and that he was "not operating under any misapprehension or mistake as to his legal rights."
3. Defendant was then sentenced to sixty four years at Level V, suspended after fifteen years for six months at Level IV, with the balance of the sentenced to be served at Level III probation.
4. Defendant filed the instant motion on June 17, 2014, asserting the following grounds for relief: 1) ineffective assistance of counsel; 2) lack of allegedly necessary medication on the the plea was entered renders the plea invalid, 3) A hearing was held without Defendant's knowledge or presence; 4) Defendant was coerced into accepting the plea agreement.
5. Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief is controlled by the recently amended Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 as the motions was filed after the new rule took effect on June 4, 2014. Under Superior Court Criminal 61(i), a Motion for Postconviction Relief can be potentially procedurally barred for time limitations, successive motions, procedural defaults, and former adjudications.
6. Rule 61(i)(1) provides that a motion exceeds time limitations if it is filed more than one year after the conviction is finalized, or if the motion asserts a newly recognized, retroactively applied right more than one year after it is first recognized.
7. Rule 61(i)(2) provides that a motion is successive if it is the second or subsequent motion made under this Rule, and such successive motions are prohibited unless the pleading requirements of 61(d)(2)(i) or (ii) are met.
8. Rule 61(i)(3) bars consideration any ground for relief "not asserted in the proceedings leading to the judgment of conviction, " unless the movant can show "cause for relief from the procedural default" and "prejudice from ...