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State v. Riley

Superior Court of Delaware

August 17, 2017

State
v.
Charles Riley

          Rebecca Song, Esq., Joseph W. Benson, Esq.

         Dear Counsel:

         The Court is in receipt of State's Motion in Limine and Defendant's Response.[1] In its Motion, the State requests that the Court permit the State to introduce evidence of Defendant's probationary status pursuant to Delaware Rule of Evidence ("D.R.E.") 404(b) "for the limited purpose of establishing proof of identity and intent or state of mind."[2] In support of this request, the State proffers that Defendant, while on Level II probation for Drug Dealing, [3] was outside his residence when Probation received a tip that Defendant was selling drugs from that residence.[4]When Probation Officer Collins, accompanied by Detective Rosaio, responded to Defendant's residence based on the tip, Collins knocked and announced himself as "Probation" and observed Defendant within his house through a window.[5] Defendant did not come to the front door and appeared to be hiding from the officers, only revealing himself once the officers entered the house.[6] An administrative search of the house revealed drugs, ammunition, and a firearm.[7] As a result of the foregoing, Defendant is charged by indictment with the following:

Drug Dealing Tier 4 Quantity of Cocaine;
Aggravated Possession Tier 5 Quantity of Cocaine;
Drug Dealing Tier 2 Quantity of Heroin;
Aggravated Possession Tier 2 Quantity of Heroin;
Drug Dealing Marijuana;
Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony;
Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited (4 counts);
Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited;
Receiving a Stolen Firearm;
Resisting Arrest; and
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.[8]

         The State argues that Defendant's probationary status is relevant to show: how Detective Rosaio and Officer Collins were able to identify Defendant; Defendant's intent to resist arrest; and Defendant's "intent to conceal drugs and a ... [handgun] to avoid new charges and a violation of probation."[9]

         D.R.E. 404(b) prohibits the use of evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts "to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith." Such evidence may be admissible "for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity or absence of mistake or accident."[10] In Getz v. State,[11] the Delaware Supreme Court laid out six factors for ...


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