Submitted: June 9, 2017
Defendant's Motion for Modification of Sentence: DENIED
Defendant's Motion for Correction of Illegal Sentence:
Defendant's Motion for New Trial: DENIED
Abigail M. LeGrow, Judge.
11th day of July, 2017, upon consideration of William D.
Anderson's Motion for Modification of Sentence (the
"Modification Motion"), Motion for Correction of
Illegal Sentence (the "Correction Motion"), Motion
for a New Trial (the "Trial Motion"), and the
record in this case, it appears to the Court that:
Anderson was convicted on January 28, 2015 of Assault Second
Degree. The assault charge involved an altercation between
Anderson and Gary Staffieri, who was Anderson's coworker
at the Auto Mart in Elsmere, Delaware. At trial, Staffieri
testified Anderson approached Staffieri while he was
retrieving a battery from a back room and the next thing
Staffieri remembered was waking up outside with a lump on his
head. Another co-worker, Ricardo Reyes, testified that he
witnessed the incident between Anderson and Staffieri, that
Staffieri struck Anderson with his knee, and that Anderson
then pushed and struck Staffieri. Reyes left the scene to get
a supervisor and, when he returned, saw Staffieri having
seizures, shaking, and with a large lump on his head.
Finally, Elsmere Police Officer Andrew Davis testified that
he interviewed Staffieri while he was receiving treatment at
the hospital and that Staffieri reported that Anderson struck
him in the head.
his defense, Anderson called the owner of Auto Mart, Allan
Bobb, who testified that Staffieri's demeanor was unusual
on the day of the incident and that Staffieri admitted
drinking alcohol that morning. Anderson also testified in his
own defense. He admitted striking Staffieri, but stated he
only did so because Staffieri kneed him in the abdomen. The
jury found Anderson guilty of assaulting Staffieri.
February 20, 2015, after trial but before sentencing, the
trial judge received a letter from a juror (the "Juror
Letter"), who stated she felt "very unsettled about
the 'guilty' verdict." The juror indicated she
"felt Mr. Staffieri was equally, if not MORE at
fault since he had been drinking that morning and is the one
who offered the first 'knee to the groin[.'] . . .
[I]t felt terribly wrong pinning the charge solely
on Mr. Anderson." The juror continued:
During deliberations, there were 3 points in the packet of
information that I sensed corralled us into a guilty verdict,
and regardless of what the "law" states, that was
unjust, to say the least. Again, I felt they were
both at fault.
Having said all of that, I hope that justice is served
equally somehow, and that Mr. Anderson does not receive the
full weight of what should be appropriated to both men in
trial judge forwarded the letter to the parties upon receipt.
After his conviction, Anderson was sentenced on May 29, 2015
to eight years at Level V, with credit for 30 days previously
served, suspended after three years for decreasing levels of
partial incarceration and probation. Pursuant to 11 Del.
C. § 4204(k), the sentencing judge ordered Anderson
to serve the unsuspended Level V portion of his sentence
without the benefit of any form of early release. Under
Section 4204(k)(1), this Court may "direct as a
condition to a sentence of imprisonment . . . that all or a
specified portion of said sentence shall be served without
benefit of any form of early release, good time, furlough,
work release, supervised custody[, ] or any other form of
reduction or diminution of sentence."
Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Anderson's conviction and
sentence on appeal. Since that time, Anderson has filed
motions for postconviction relief and ...