RYAN L. STECK, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee
Submitted February 16, 2015.
Case Closed July 8, 2015.
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 Sussex County. Cr. ID Nos. 0802023045, 0002006781.
Before STRINE, Chief Justice, VALIHURA and VAUGHN, Justices.
James T. Vaughn, Jr., Justice.
This 15th day of May 2015, upon careful consideration of the appellant's opening brief, the appellee's motion to affirm, and the Superior Court record, it appears to the Court that:
(1) The appellant, Ryan L. Steck, filed this appeal from the Superior Court's order of December 16, 2014 that summarily dismissed his motion for postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 (" Rule 61" ). The appellee, State of Delaware, has moved to affirm the Superior Court's judgment on the ground that it is manifest on the face of Steck's opening brief that the appeal is without merit. We agree and affirm.
(2) The record reflects that Steck pled guilty in May 2000 to two drug offenses (hereinafter " 2000 case" ). The Superior Court sentenced Steck to a total of thirteen years suspended after three years and successful completion of drug programs at Levels V and IV for seven years of probation. In July 2008, Steck pled guilty to four more drug offenses (hereinafter " 2008 case" ). The Superior Court sentenced Steck to another thirteen years at Level V suspended after five years for six months at Level IV work release and five years of probation.
(3) On July 18, 2014, Steck was found guilty of violation of probation in the 2000 case and the 2008 case. In the 2008 case, the Superior Court terminated probation and discharged Steck as unimproved. In the 2000 case, after ordering that Steck serve one year at Level V, the Superior Court terminated the remaining probation and discharged Steck as unimproved.
(4) On December 3, 2014, Steck filed a motion for postconviction relief under Rule 61. Steck sought to set aside his guilty plea in the 2008 case on the basis of undisclosed " impeachment evidence," namely evidence of ongoing corruption in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (" OCME" ) when the 2008 case was pending. According to Steck, had the State or his defense counsel informed him of the " impeachment evidence" he would have gone to trial or " negotiated a more favorable plea [agreement]."
(5) By order dated December 16, 2014, the Superior Court summarily dismissed Steck's postconviction motion. This appeal followed. In his opening brief on appeal, Steck provides more detailed support for his claim that an OCME employee mishandled some of the drug evidence submitted for testing in the 2008 case. Steck argues that, in view of " the State's suppression of the government misconduct at the OCME crime lab," his convictions in the 2008 case should be vacated.
(6) Having carefully considered the parties' positions, the Court concludes that the Superior Court's judgment should be affirmed on the basis of our decision ...