Submitted: June 26, 2017
Dennis Williams' Motion for Postconviction Relief DENIED
L. Rocanelli, Judge
consideration of the motion for postconviction relief counsel
filed by Defendant Dennis Williams; Rule 61 of the Superior
Court Rules of Criminal Procedure ("Rule 61"); the
facts, arguments and legal authorities set forth in
Defendant's motion and the State's response in
opposition thereto; Trial Counsel's affidavit; statutory
and decisional law; and the entire record in this case, the
Court finds as follows:
case was tried to a jury October 21-23, 2014. Defendant was
represented by counsel at trial ("Trial Counsel").
Defendant stipulated that he was a person prohibited.
October 23, 2014, following the three-day jury trial, the
jury found Defendant guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a
Person Prohibited ("PFBPP") and Possession of
Ammunition by a Person Prohibited ("PABPP").
Defendant was found not guilty of Reckless Endangering First
Degree and Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a
Trial Counsel moved for a judgment of acquittal, contending
that the verdicts were inconsistent. The State opposed
Defendant's motion. The Court denied the motion for
judgment of acquittal on the grounds that the verdicts were
not inconsistent because the crimes on which Defendant was
acquitted required the State to establish different factual
elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the State
had to prove that Defendant actually discharged the firearm
rather than merely possessing it. In addition, there was
direct evidence of the crimes alleging possession of a
firearm while there was only circumstantial evidence that
Defendant actually discharged the weapon.
Order dated March 13, 2015, effective February 22, 2014,
Defendant was sentenced.
March 30, 2015, Defendant filed a timely appeal of his
conviction and sentence with the Delaware Supreme Court,
which affirmed this Court's ruling by Order dated
December 4, 2015.
April 11, 2016, Defendant filed a timely motion for
postconviction relief and a motion for appointment of
postconviction relief counsel pursuant to Rule 61 as a
Rule 61(e) governs the appointment of counsel in
postconviction proceedings. Upon a defendant's timely
request, the Court shall appoint counsel for an indigent
movant's first motion for postconviction relief if the
motion seeks to set aside "a judgment of conviction
after a trial that has been affirmed by final order upon
direct appellate review and is for a crime designated as a
class A, B, or C felony under U Del. C. §
Pursuant to 11 Del. C. § 1448(c), PFBPP is a
class C Felony if the defendant has been previously convicted
of a violent felony. Defendant qualified for increased
sentencing under § 1448(e)(1) because of Defendant's
status as a prohibited person and his previous conviction of
a violent felony. Accordingly, Defendant's 2014 jury
conviction of PFBPP, from which he seeks postconviction
relief, is a class C felony and Defendant is entitled to
appointment of counsel to pursue his first motion for
postconviction relief. Accordingly, Counsel was appointed to
represent Defendant on his motion for post-conviction relief
("Rule 61 Counsel").
Rule 61 Counsel has filed an Amended Motion for
Postconviction Relief ("PCR Motion") alleging
ineffective assistance of Trial Counsel on two grounds: (i)
failure to request a mistrial after a State's witness
"narrated" a video of the crime scene and ...