Submitted: March 1, 2017
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
HOLLAND, VALIHURA, and SEITZ, Justices.
7th day of March 2017, it appears to the Court, as
Markevous Tymes was indicted by a grand jury with Second
Degree Burglary, two counts of Theft From a Senior, Second
Degree Conspiracy, Receiving Stolen Property over $1500, and
Criminal Mischief. On September 3, 2015, after a two day
trial, a Superior Court jury found Tymes guilty as charged.
Superior Court sentenced Tymes on the Burglary Second Degree
charge to five years Level 5, Key Program, with credit for 58
days previously served, suspended after three years for two
years of Level 4 Crest, suspended after successful
completion, for 18 months Level 3. On each of the two Theft
Charges, Conspiracy Second Degree, and Receiving Stolen
Property charges, the Superior Court sentenced Tymes to
twelve months Level 5, suspended for twelve months at Level
2. The court imposed a fine for the Criminal Mischief charge.
Tymes timely filed a notice of appeal on December 15, 2015.
After receiving the no-merit brief and motion to withdraw
filed under Supreme Court Rule 26(c) by Tymes's former
appellate counsel and the State's Answering Brief, this
Court granted his former counsel's motion to withdraw,
appointed new counsel, and issued a new brief schedule.
this appeal, Tymes contends that: "The trial court
committed reversible error by giving a constitutionally
defective instruction to the jury on the rebuttable
presumption of possession of recently stolen goods. The
instruction informed the jury that it could make an inference
that Mr. Tymes committed burglary and theft because he
possessed recently stolen goods. The jury was also instructed
that they could make such an inference if they found that Mr.
Tymes's possession of the goods was unexplained or they
were unsatisfied by his explanation. The charge as given to
the jury shifted the burden to the defense as it failed to
instruct the jury that Mr. Tymes had no duty to present
evidence in his own defense."
have concluded that Tymes's argument is without merit.
Testimony at trial established the following facts. Raymond
Seigfried, who at the time of the incident was 65 years old,
resided in North Wilmington. On August 25, 2014, Seigfried
left his home at approximately 12:10 p.m. to go to an event
for work. When Seigfried returned home at approximately 2:30
p.m., he noticed that his door was not locked. As he walked
into his house, he received a phone call. Seigfried answered
the call, and the unknown caller told him "I think I
have your briefcase."
Seigfried entered his house and went upstairs to his computer
room, he found that the room had been ransacked and that his
laptop computer, work briefcase, and a projector were
missing. Seigfried found his bedroom in similar disarray. His
personal briefcase, another laptop computer, his wife's
medication, a video recorder, and some coins were missing.
Seigfried called 911, and Master Corporal Jeffrey Steinberg
responded shortly thereafter. Seigfried and Master Corporal
Steinberg surveyed the house and discovered a damaged screen
and a basement window that had been kicked in.
Master Corporal Steinberg determined that the call Seigfried
received about his briefcase came from a convenience store on
Northeast Boulevard in Wilmington. The officer went to the
store, and a store employee gave him Seigfried's
briefcase. The store manager also allowed Master Corporal
Steinberg to review the store's video surveillance
system. In the video, Master Corporal Steinberg observed what
appeared to be a Honda vehicle pull into the convenience
store parking lot. An individual exited the passenger side of
the vehicle holding what appeared to be a briefcase and then
put the briefcase in a dumpster on the side of the store. The
video also showed the driver exit the vehicle, carrying what
appeared to be a laptop computer. The driver then entered the
store, approached the clerk, and gave him the laptop, which
the clerk then returned to the driver. The driver then left
the store and got back into the vehicle. The timestamp on the
video was 1:02:43 p.m., although it was determined that the
timestamp was off by about twenty-five minutes. Master
Corporal Steinberg testified that the actual time of the
video would be 1:37 p.m.
That same day, between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., Helen Ohlson was
riding her bicycle near Seigfried's home. Ohlson
testified that she observed two sedans: one was silver and
looked older with "messed up paint"; the other was
a newer looking, "shiny, bright blue" vehicle. The
two sedans appeared to be speeding and driving together.
Ohlson testified that the driver of the silver vehicle
appeared to be a younger and bigger man and was possibly
wearing a white t-shirt, and the passenger appeared to be an
older, thinner man. The driver of the blue vehicle was a
woman. All three individuals were black.
Detective Cunningham of the New Castle County Police
Department, who had been assigned to investigate the
burglary, testified that he also observed the video footage
from the convenience store. He saw a black male dressed in
khaki shorts and another black male dressed in a white
t-shirt. Detective Cunningham ...