Submitted: July 20, 2017
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
VAUGHN, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
Collins J. Seitz, Jr. Justice
12th day of October 2017, upon careful
consideration of the appellant's opening brief, the
appellee's motion to affirm, and the Superior Court
record, it appears to the Court that:
appellant, Isaiah Fields, filed this appeal from the Superior
Court's May 18, 2017 opinion summarily dismissing his
motion for postconviction relief and denying his request for
the appointment of counsel. The State of Delaware has filed a
motion to affirm the Superior Court's judgment on the
ground that it is manifest on the face of Fields' opening
brief that the appeal is without merit. We agree and affirm.
The record reflects that, during the course of a narcotics
investigation conducted by the Governor's Task Force in
2015, the Delaware State Police received information that
Fields, a Level II probationer, was transporting heroin in
and around the Millsboro area. On June 17, 2015, the police
observed Fields driving a green minivan in Millsboro, and
knowing that Fields had a suspended driver's license, the
police stopped the minivan. The police found $800 in
Fields' pocket and a cell phone between the front seats
of the vehicle. On the back seat, the police found a black
bag containing more than six grams of a substance that
field-tested positive for heroin. Later that day, when Fields
admitted to the police during an interview that he had more
heroin at his residence, police and probation officers
conducted an administrative search of the residence and found
another eight grams of the suspected heroin, which brought
the total amount of drugs seized to more than fourteen grams.
Fields was charged by Information with Aggravated Possession
of Heroin, Drug Dealing in Heroin-both class B
felonies-Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and
Driving while Suspended or Revoked. Each of the class B
felonies exposed Fields to a minimum of two years and up to
twenty-five years in prison. Also, because he had prior
convictions for at least two violent felonies,  if Fields was
convicted of either of the class B felonies charged in the
Information, he faced the possibility of having the State
move to declare him a habitual offender and, if granted, the
imposition of a life sentence.
October 19, 2015, with the assistance of appointed counsel,
Fields entered into a plea agreement with the State. In
exchange for Fields' guilty plea to the Drug Dealing in
Heroin offense, the State agreed to dismiss the other charges
in the Information and to recommend that Fields be sentenced
to no more than six years of unsuspended Level V
Before accepting the guilty plea, the Superior Court engaged
Fields in a colloquy to ensure that he was entering the plea
fully aware of the nature of the charges against him and the
consequences of entering the plea. After the colloquy, the
Superior Court accepted the plea as knowing, intelligent, and
voluntary and sentenced Fields to twenty-five years of Level
V imprisonment suspended after six years for probation.
Fields did not file a direct appeal from the guilty plea and
sentence. He did, however, file a motion seeking to reduce
the agreed-upon six-year term of unsuspended incarceration.
By order dated February 1, 2016, the Superior Court denied
the motion on the basis that the six-year term was
appropriate and was part of the parties' plea agreement.
October 25, 2016, Fields filed a timely motion for
postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule
Fields filed amendments to the motion on December 8, 2016 and
February 9, 2017, and in the February 9 amendment, he
requested the appointment of counsel.
Fields' postconviction motion as amended (hereinafter
"the Motion") raised overlapping claims of
ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct,
illegal search and seizure, inadequate Miranda
warnings, and involuntary and defective guilty plea. After
preliminary consideration of the Motion and the record, the
Superior Court denied Fields' request for the appointment
of counsel and dismissed the Motion. This appeal followed.
This Court reviews the Superior Court's denial of a
motion for postconviction relief under Rule 61 for an abuse
of discretion. When deciding legal or constitutional