Submitted: March 26, 2015
Upon Defendant's Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea
Caterina Gatto, Esquire, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State
Richard Zemble, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant
HONORABLE MARY M. JOHNSTON, JUDGE
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL CONTEXT
Defendant was indicted on December 5, 2011, on charges of Robbery First Degree and two counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. At the time of the indictment, Defendant was in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for Attempted Robbery, which he committed in Philadelphia two days after the offenses at issue in this case. A Rule 9 Warrant and Authorization for Extradition were issued in Delaware. A Summons for Arraignment was mailed to Defendant on December 20, 2011. On January 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections sent a letter to this Court enclosing executed detainer forms. On May 16, 2014, the State filed IAD forms for Defendant's transfer to Delaware.
Defendant was extradited to Delaware on May 22, 2014. Defendant was arraigned on June 10, 2014. At his First Case Review on June 23, 2014, Defendant pled guilty to Robbery First Degree and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. The State agreed not to proceed with sentencing as a habitual offender, pursuant to 11 Del. C. § 4214(b). A nolle prosequi was entered on the remaining count of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony.
Sentencing was scheduled for September 19, 2014. On September 8, 2014, a continuance request was filed. Timothy Weiler, Esq., Defendant's counsel, had been advised that Defendant planned to file a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The continuance request was granted on September 9, 2014.
Richard Zemble, Esq. entered his appearance on behalf of Defendant on September 18, 2014. On November 26, 2014, Defense Counsel filed the instant Motion for Withdrawal of Guilty Plea.
Withdraw of Guilty Plea
A guilty plea must be voluntary and the Court must be satisfied that the plea is not the result of force, threats, or promises not included in the plea agreement.Superior Court Criminal Rule 32(d) grants the Court discretion to permit withdrawal of a guilty plea if the defendant can demonstrate a fair and just reason for doing so. A guilty plea may be withdrawn only if the Court finds that the plea was not entered into voluntarily or that the defendant entered the plea because of mistake or misapprehension of his legal rights.
In the present case, Defendant claims that his guilty plea should be withdrawn because: (1) his Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel was violated; (2) his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was violated; and (3) he has a basis to assert legal ...