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State v. Gumaneh

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

August 7, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
AMARA K. GUMANEH

         RK13-04-0822-01 Burglary 2nd (F)

         Upon Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61

          Stephen E. Smith, Esq., Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.

          Amara K. Gumaneh, Pro se.

          COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea M Freud, Commissioner

         The defendant, Amara K. Gumaneh ("Gumaneh") pled guilty on October 17, 2013 to one count of Burglary in the Second Degree, 11 Del. C. § 825. As part of the plea nolle prosequis were entered on the remaining charges of Theft of Firearm, Theft $ 1, 500 or >, Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief < $ 1, 000. The parties recommended that Gumaneh be sentenced to eight years at Level V, suspended after serving one year minimum mandatory for eighteen months probation. The Court sentenced him in accordance with the parties recommendation. Had Gumaneh gone to trial and been convicted as charged he faced a far greater period of incarceration.

         Gumaneh did not appeal his conviction or sentence to the Delaware Supreme Court. Instead he filed a motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61. The Court signed an order requesting that the Office of Conflicts Counsel appoint counsel for Gumaneh. While the motion was in briefing Gumaneh filed a "Motion for Correction of an Illegal Sentence." This Court denied the motion and Gumaneh appealed to the State Supreme Court. Consequently the Rule 61 motion was stayed pending the Supreme Court review. The Supreme Court ultimately denied Gumaneh's appeal. After reviewing the file, Appointed Counsel determined that there were no meritorious grounds for relief and filed a Motion to Withdraw Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61(e)(2) with a supporting Memorandum. The memorandum detailed his review of the case and Gumaneh's arguments. The Court granted Appointed Counsel's Motion to Withdraw. Gumaneh did not file any response to the motion to withdraw or present any additional grounds for relief. Gumaneh's original counsel and the State responded to Gumaneh's pro se motion.

         The charges stemmed from a residential burglary in January 2013 in Magnolia, Delaware. The victim was a federal agent. Gumaneh was identified as a suspect after he arranged to meet an undercover police officer to sell items taken in the burglary. A valid search warrant was executed by the police for Gumaneh's cell phone on which evidence was found indicating that he had actively participated in the burglary.

         GUMANEH'S CONTENTIONS

         In Gumaneh's pro se Motion for Postconviction Relief, he raises three grounds for relief as summarized by Appointed Counsel:

Ground one: Ineffective assistance of counsel.
Movant asserts a general claim for ineffective assistance of counsel by asserting that Movant was denied a defense attorney 'who knows the relevant laws, does not have any conflicts in the case at hand, adheres to all legal procedural requirements, so as to now forfeit any rights and vigorously pursues a client's case at trial, through direct and cross examination, the filing of motions and the raising of objections.'
Ground two: Violation of Constitutional Rights. Movant asserts that his Constitutional Rights were violated by defense counsel's failure to file a Motion to Suppress the search of the cell phone.
Ground three: Lack of Indictment. Movant asserts that he received ineffective assistance of counsel due to a delay in the Indictment being filed against the Movant and ...

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