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State v. Woodlin

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

September 12, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
HOWARD E. WOODLIN, Defendant.

          Submitted: August 14, 2017

         RK07-10-0334-01 through RK07-10-0453-01

          ORDER

          Jeffrey J. Clark, Judge

         On this 12th day of September, 2017 upon consideration of the Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation, and the record in this case, it appears that:

         1. The defendant, Howard E. Woodlin ("Woodlin") was found guilty, following a jury trial on November 17, 2008, of one count of Rape in the First Degree Without Consent, 11 Del. C. § 773; one count of Dangerous Crime Against a Child, 11 Del. C. § 779; three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 11 Del. C. § 1102; one count of Unlawful Sexual Contact First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 769; one count of Incest, 11 Del. C. § 766; and two counts of Indecent Exposure First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 765. A presentence investigation was ordered by the Court. On January 27, 2009. Woodlin was sentenced to life in prison on the Rape in the First Degree and to an additional thirty-three years and ten months incarceration, suspended after twenty-five years and ten months for probation. Twenty-five years of that time includes minimum mandatory time.

         2. Woodlin, through counsel, appealed his conviction to the Delaware Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, affirmed Woodlin's conviction and sentence on July 22, 2010.

         3. Thereafter, Woodlin filed a motion for Post Conviction Relief. The procedural history is set forth in the Commissioners Report and Recommendation of July 18, 2017, attached hereafter as Exhibit "A".

         4. After the issuance of the Commissioner's Report, neither party filed exceptions.

         NOW, THEREFORE, after a de novo review of the record in this action, and for the reasons stated in the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation dated July 18th, 2017, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Commissioner's Report and Recommendation attached as Exhibit "A", is hereby adopted by the Court in its entirety. Accordingly Movant's Amended Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 is hereby DENIED.

         Exhibit "A"

         COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

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

         Susan G. Schmidhauser, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.

         Patrick J. Collins, Esquire, Collins and Associates, Wilmington, Delaware for Defendant.

          Andrea M. Freud, Commissioner

         July 18, 2017

         The defendant, Howard E. Woodlin ("Woodlin") was found guilty, following a jury trial on November 17, 2008, as charged, of one count Rape in the First Degree Without Consent, 11 Del. C. § 773; one count of Dangerous Crime Against a Child, 11 Del. C. § 779; three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 11 Del. C. § 1102; one count of Unlawful Sexual Contact First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 769; one count of Incest, 11 Del. C. § 766; and two counts of Indecent Exposure First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 765. A presentence investigation was ordered by the Court. On January 27, 2009, Woodlin was sentenced to life in prison on the Rape in the First Degree and to an additional thirty-three years and ten months incarceration, suspended after twenty-five years and ten months for probation, twenty-five of which were minimum mandatory time.

         Woodlin, through counsel, appealed his conviction to the Delaware Supreme Court. The issue raised on appeal was noted by the Court as follows:

He argues that it was an abuse of discretion by the trial judge to permit the admission into evidence of his minor daughter's interview with a Children's Advocacy Center ("CAC") forensic interviewer, Diane Klecan ("Klecan") under title 11, section 3507 of the Delaware code. According to Woodlin, no foundation was laid regarding the perceived events or truthfulness of the out-of-court statement.[1]

         The Supreme Court, on July 22, 2010, affirmed Woodlin's conviction and sentence.[2]

         On May 6, 2011, Woodlin filed a pro se motion for postconviction relief in which he raised two grounds for relief including ineffective assistance of counsel. After briefing on the motion was complete, Woodlin on November 11, 2011, filed a motion to amend his Rule 61 motion. The motion to amend was denied by this court[3] and Woodlin appealed that ruling to the State Supreme Court. Consequently the matter was stayed in this court. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on July 12, 2012 and the mandate issued on August 1, 2012.[4]

         Briefing on Woodlin's motion continued and I issued a Report on May 3, 2013 recommending that the Court deny Woodlin's motion. He next filed a motion for appointment of counsel and did not appeal my ruling. The Court granted Woodlin's motion for appointment of counsel. Next Appointed Counsel filed an Amended Motion for Postconviction Relief and waived all the grounds raised earlier in Woodlin's pro se motion. The pending amended motion alleges ineffective assistance of Trial Counsel.

         FACTS

         Following are the facts as set forth by the ...


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