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State v. Hicks

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

May 4, 2015

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
VINCENT E. HICKS, Defendant.

Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief is DENIED. Counsel's Motion to Withdraw is MOOT.

Joseph Grubb, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Attorney for the State.

Vincent E. Hicks, pro se Defendant.

Donald R. Roberts, Esq., Attorney for the Defendant.

ORDER

The Honorable Calvin L. Scott Jr.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Defendant Vincent E. Hicks ("Defendant") was arrested on February 12, 2009. He was indicted by a grand jury on March 16, 2009, for Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Kidnapping First Degree, Assault Second Degree, Aggravated Menacing, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Conspiracy Second Degree. Defendant was originally represented by Brian J. Chapman, Esq., and trial was scheduled for September 22, 2009. However, due to a conflict, Mr. Chapman moved for a continuance. The Trial Court granted the motion, and appointed new counsel, Peter N. Letang, Esq., to represent Defendant at trial. The new trial date was scheduled for November 3, 2009, but was continued because the assigned prosecutor was involved in an unrelated murder trial. Trial ultimately commenced on February 23, 2010.

On March 3, 2010, the jury returned guilty verdicts on the charges of Assault Second Degree, Conspiracy Second Degree (2 counts), Aggravated Menacing, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. Prior to trial and later before sentencing, Defendant attempted to appeal the matter to the Delaware Supreme Court, both of which were dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. On March 9, 2010, Mr. Letang filed a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel on the basis of Defendant's hostility to Mr. Letang during the trial process. The motion was granted and Gregory M. Johnson, Esq. was appointed to represent Defendant at sentencing.

Defendant was sentenced on November 15, 2010, and received 11 years at Level V, followed by probation at Level III.

Defendant filed a timely appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, asserting (1) his right to a speedy trial was violated, (2) the indictment was improperly amended during trial, (3) his constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendment were violated, and (4) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. On July 21, 2011, the Supreme Court denied Defendant's claims and affirmed the conviction.

On October 10, 2013, Defendant filed this pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief. Defendant was subsequently assigned counsel, Donald R. Roberts, Esq. ("Counsel"). Counsel then filed a Motion to Withdraw as Postconviction Counsel pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61(e)(1) and (2) on October 31, 2013. In response to Counsel's motion to withdraw, Defendant filed supplemental grounds for his motion for postconviction relief on January 12, 2015.

DEFENDANT'S RULE 61 MOTION

Defendant's motion, and supplemental claims, assert the following grounds for postconviction relief: (1) Defendant's constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendment were violated because of his unlawful arrest on December 18, 2008; (2) Defendant's right to a speedy trial was violated; (3) Defendant's indictment was improperly amended during trial; (4) Defendant's substantive and procedural due process rights were violated because of the State's Brady violation during trial; (5) Defendant was entitled to a Bland jury instruction; (6) Defendant's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was violated by the stipulation of fact signed by the ...


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