Submitted March 23, 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 1312015698.
Before STRINE, Chief Justice; HOLLAND and VAUGHN, Justices.
Leo E. Strine, Jr., Chief Justice.
This 28th day of May 2015, upon consideration of the appellant's brief filed under Supreme Court Rule 26(c), his attorney's motion to withdraw, and the State's response, it appears to the Court that:
(1) In June 2014, a Superior Court jury convicted the appellant, Latrell Farlow, of one count each of Driving Under the Influence (" DUI" ), Resisting Arrest, Reckless Driving, Disorderly Conduct, Driving at an Unsafe Speed, and Improper Lane Change. The jury acquitted Farlow of the only felony charge, Disregarding a Police Officer's Signal. After a presentence investigation, the Superior Court sentenced Farlow on the charges of DUI and Resisting Arrest to a total period of thirty months at Level V incarceration, to be suspended after serving sixty days in prison for thirty days at the Level IV VOP Center, followed by one year at Level III probation. Farlow was sentenced to a fine of $100 or less on each of the four remaining charges. None of these four sentences meets the jurisdictional threshold for an appeal to this Court. Accordingly, our review in this appeal is limited to Farlow's convictions and sentences for DUI and Resisting Arrest. This is Farlow's direct appeal on those two convictions.
(2) Farlow's appellate counsel has filed a brief and a motion to withdraw under Rule 26(c). Farlow's counsel asserts that, based upon a complete and careful examination of the record, there are no arguably appealable issues. By letter, Farlow's attorney informed him of Rule 26(c) and provided Farlow with a copy of the motion to withdraw and the accompanying brief. Farlow was also informed of his right to supplement his attorney's presentation. Farlow has raised several issues for this Court's consideration. The State has responded to the position taken by Farlow's counsel, as well as to the points raised by Farlow, and has moved to affirm the Superior Court's judgment.
(3) The record at trial established that, on December 27, 2013 at around 1:00 AM, a Seaford police officer saw a red Jeep Cherokee drive by his parked vehicle at a speed of 80 to 90 mph. The officer activated his lights and gave chase. The officer testified that he accelerated to well over 100 mph to reach the Jeep. The Jeep slowed to the speed limit but did not pull over. The officer then activated his siren and called for back-up. The Jeep moved into a turn lane and signaled as if to turn but did not. Instead, the Jeep continued driving forward for another mile, swerving back and forth between lanes on the highway. Eventually, the Jeep pulled into a McDonald's parking lot and struck a curb while parking.
(4) The pursuing officer and another officer, who had arrived on the scene as back-up, approached the Jeep with their weapons drawn. The driver, Farlow, was reaching into his center console, so the pursuing officer opened the driver's door, pulled him out, and threw him to the ground. Farlow struggled with the officers and refused to be handcuffed. One of the officers testified at trial that he detected a strong odor of alcohol and noticed that Farlow's eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
(5) Farlow was transported to the Seaford police station, where he refused to submit to field sobriety tests and an intoxilyzer test. The officer obtained a warrant for a blood draw and took Farlow to the hospital, where Farlow became violent. Farlow attempted to kick, punch, and spit on the officers and told the transporting officer that he was going to have to " f ing knock him out first" to execute the warrant for the blood draw. Four officers had to restrain Farlow to get his blood sample. The test results showed that Farlow's blood alcohol content (" BAC" ) was .17.
(6) Before trial, Farlow's counsel filed a motion to suppress the traffic stop and arrest, arguing that the police officer did not have a reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop Farlow's vehicle or probable cause to arrest him. Defense counsel also moved to suppress the blood test results, arguing that there was insufficient evidence within the four corners of the search warrant affidavit to support a finding of probable cause that Farlow had been driving under the influence. After a hearing, the Superior Court denied both motions. At the close of the State's evidence at trial, defense counsel moved for a judgment of acquittal on the charges of Disregarding a Police Officer's Signal, Driving at an Unsafe Speed, Reckless Driving, and ...