RESTITUTION OPINION AND ORDER
matter involved a March 22, 2015 shooting of a vehicle and
its occupants at Rogers Manor Park in the Rogers Manor
Neighborhood in New Castle County, Delaware. The above
referenced six defendants conspired to rob the occupants of
the vehicle. In carrying out their conspiracy, two occupants
of the vehicle, and the vehicle itself, were shot.
Louis Padilla-Gonzales, the driver of the vehicle, suffered
gunshot wounds to his left shoulder and arm. He had an open
wound that was about the size of a baseball.
Escober, the front seat passenger, was shot in the face and
sustained massive injuries to the entire right side of his
face and head. Both of the victims were transported to
Christiana Hospital Emergency Room for medical care. Miguel
Escober was immediately taken to surgery to remove a gunshot
pellet from the right side of his brain. He sustained
numerous gunshot pellets in his face, head and stomach area.
He lost his right eye as a result of the shooting.
the Defendants were charged with attempted murder (the
shooting of Miguel Escobar), assault first degree (the
shooting of Jose Padilla-Gonzalez), robbery, conspiracy and a
number of related crimes arising out of the incident.
the Defendants were convicted of conspiracy. Five of the six
defendants also pled guilty to robbery. The sixth defendant,
Kaleef Smyre, whose charges were bifurcated for trial, was
convicted at trial for conspiracy and criminal mischief and
pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a person
sentencing, each of the Defendants was ordered to pay
restitution. The restitution award was ordered to be joint
and several as to each of the Defendants.
State submitted a restitution report, with supporting
documentation, initially seeking a restitution award in the
total amount of $170, 988.05, which was subsequently
supplemented to reflect continuing expenses incurred by the
victims or on their behalf.
restitution requested by the State represented outstanding
medical expenses owed to Christiana Care for medical services
rendered to Mr. Escobar; outstanding medical expenses owed to
Christiana Care for medical services rendered to Mr.
Padilla-Gonzales; out of pocket losses suffered by Mr.
Padilla-Gonzales; amounts paid by the Victims'
Compensation Assistance Program ("VCAP") on behalf
of Mr. Padilla-Gonzales; the balance of monies owed to
Westside Health; and the balance of the monies owed to
Cheswold Fire Company.
one defendant, Joshua Scruggs, opposed a few of the requests
for restitution. The other Defendants adopted and joined
Defendant Scruggs' opposition as to those few requests.
The opposed requests included the restitution sought on
behalf of Christiana Care for the victims' medical
expenses, and the restitution sought by the VCAP for the
payments made to Mr. Padilla-Gonzalez or on his behalf. The
remaining requests, for Mr. Padilla-Gonzalez's out of
pocket losses, and for monies owed to Westside Health and
Cheswold Fire Co., were unopposed by all defendants.
restitution hearing was held on May 2, 2017 to address the
opposed requests for restitution. At the hearing, the Court
ruled on all the restitution requests except for one, the
outstanding medical bills owed to Christiana Care for the
medical services provided to Mr. Padilla-Gonzalez.
the restitution hearing, the Court ordered supplemental
submissions from the parties on the remaining outstanding
issue. Supplemental submissions, with additional supporting
documentation, was provided as requested by Court.
preliminary matter, at a restitution hearing, it is the
State's burden to prove by a preponderance of the
evidence what amounts are owed to the victim. The Court has broad
discretion to determine whether restitution is appropriate,
in determining the information upon which it will rely, and
in crafting an award tailored to the circumstances of each
individual case.The Court may consider the victim loss
statement and other evidence at the restitution hearing in
crafting an award. The Court has broad authority to order the
Defendants to pay restitution for the victim's medical
the amount of restitution is geared directly to the amount of
the victim's loss caused by the Defendants' criminal
activity, proportionality is already built into the order. In
this matter, by shooting their victims, the defendants have
essentially determined their restitution
obligation.The restitution awarded herein is based
directly on the actual losses caused to the victims by the
Defendants' criminal conduct. The defendants conspired to
rob, and in carrying out that robbery shot the two victims
causing serious injuries to both men. The Defendants are
responsible for the medical expenses incurred by their
victims as a result of the shooting, for the victims' out
of pocket expenses, and for the payments made by the VCAP on
the victims' behalf.
careful consideration of the record, the testimony of the
witnesses, the supporting documentation and the arguments of
the parties, restitution is hereby awarded as follows:
Out of Pocket Losses Incurred by Jose
Padilla-Gonzalez $23, 177.00
restitution request represents the direct out of pocket
losses incurred by Mr. Padilla-Gonzalez. It represents lost
wages and some damages Mr. Gonzalez incurred that the VCAP
did not pay in full. This request was not opposed by any
defendant. This request is awarded as unopposed.
Westsidc Health $59.00
the State requested $127.00, but later reduced the request to
$59.00. At first, Defendant Scruggs opposed this request but
later withdrew his opposition. Accordingly, this request is
awarded as unopposed.
Cheswold Fire Co. $110.00
Defendant Scruggs opposed this request but later withdrew his
opposition. Accordingly, this request is awarded as
Victims' Compensation Assistance Program