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State v. Torres

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

March 3, 2015

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
PEDRO J. TORRES Defendant

On Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief.

Submitted: December 17, 2014

Jan A.T. Van Amerongen, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State

Pedro J. Torres, Wilmington, Delaware, pro se

ORDER

COOCH, R.J.

This 3rd day of March, 2015, upon consideration of Defendant's First Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

1. Defendant Pedro J. Torres pled guilty in October 2013 to Assault in the Second Degree and Burglary in the Third Degree. Defendant was then sentenced as a habitual offender to a total of eleven years at Level V, suspended after eight years for three years at Level IV, suspended after three months for one year at Level II.[1]
2. Defendant filed the instant motion on November 19, 2014.[2] Defendant asserts one ground for relief in his motion, which is listed here in toto:
Effective Assistance of Counsel: Counsel was overwhelm[ed] d[ue] to his caseload. Therefor[e] counsel wasn't able to represent me to full ability. Was not prepare[d] for trial and failed to negotiate and proper plea deal that was favorable to the State or myself. Counsel was also effective by allowed me to sign a expire plea. The plea expire July 5, 2013. [3]
3. Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief is controlled by the recently amended Superior Court Criminal Rule 61.[4] Under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61(i), a Motion for Postconviction Relief can be potentially procedurally barred for time limitations, successive motions, procedural defaults, and former adjudications.[5] Before addressing the merits of this Motion for Postconviction Relief, the Court must address any procedural requirements of Rule 61(i).[6]
4. 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]
5. 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]
6. 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 violation of the movant's rights."[9]
7. Rule 61(i)(4) bars consideration of any ground for relief formerly adjudicated in the case, including "proceedings leading to the judgment of conviction, in an appeal, in a postconviction ...

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