D Deal Tier 4 (F)
Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to
Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
S. Hartman, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Department of
Justice, for the State of Delaware.
D. Beal, Pro se.
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. FREUD, COMMISSIONER.
defendant, Ronald D. Beal ("Beal"), pled guilty on
September 16, 2014, the day his trial was scheduled to
commence, to one count of Drug Dealing Tier 4, 16 Del.
C. § 4752(1). He was also facing four additional
counts of Drug Dealing Tier 4, two counts of Drug dealing
with an Aggravating factor, two counts of Conspiracy in the
Second Degree, six counts of Possession of Drug
Paraphernalia, one count of Tier 3 Drug Possession with an
Aggravating factor, one count of Tier 2 Drug Dealing with an
Aggravating factor, five counts of Tier 5 Drug Possession,
one count of Tier 1 Drug Possession with an Aggravating
factor, one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance
with an Aggravating factor, and one count of Possession of
Marijuana with an Aggravating factor. Nolle
prosequis were entered by the State on the twenty-four
additional charges in exchange for Beal's
plea. Due to his past criminal history Beal
faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison as an habitual
offender had he been convicted at trial. As part of the plea
the State agreed not to pursue habitual offender status for
Beal and recommended twenty-five years incarceration followed
by probation. After a lengthy plea colloquy and sentence
comments by counsel and the Court did not accept the
State's recommendation and instead sentenced Beal to
twenty-five years incarceration suspended after serving
twelve years for probation. Beal did not appeal his
conviction or sentence to the Delaware Supreme Court. Beal
filed a motion for reduction of sentence on December 2, 2014
which the Court denied on December 11, 2014. Next he filed
the pending motion for postconviction relief pursuant to
Superior Court Criminal Rule 61. Beal's request for
appointment of counsel was denied. Next, briefing commenced.
After briefing had been completed Beal filed a second motion
for reduction of sentence which the Court also denied. Beal
appealed the denial to the Delaware Supreme Court and the
instant Rule 61 was stayed pending the appeal. The Supreme
Court dismissed the matter after Beal withdrew his appeal.
Next Beal filed a second request for appointment of counsel
which was denied. Beal appealed the ruling to the Delaware
Supreme Court. This appeal was also dismissed and the mandate
issued. After the file was returned from the Delaware Supreme
Court the Rule 61 was sent back to Chambers for decision.
had been indicted on several different drug charges of which
a number were nolle prossed early by the State due
to concerns that the drugs in question had been sent to the
Office of Chief Medical Examiner ("OCME"). The
charge for which Beal pled guilty to involved his sale of a
large amount of heroin to an undercover drug detective which
occurred on July 10, 2013. The drugs were never sent to the
OCME but were instead tested by the Federal Drug Enforcement
Administration ("DEA"). Beal admitted while under
Miranda that he came to Kent County to sell drugs.
In his motion for postconviction relief, Beal raises three
grounds for relief:
Ground one: 16 Del. C. 4757; Illegally labeled as violent
felony and sentence should not have been enhanced.
In U.S. Supreme Court decision, Johnson v. U.S.,
2015 WL 2473450 the court held that labeling offenses as
violent without the risk of serious injury is
unconstitutional and violates a defendant's due process.
Ground two: Ineffective assistance of counsel.
Attorney failed to fully investigate the scandal at the OCME
drug lab. Which directly affected my case, resulting in
several charges being Nolle Prosequi. Therefore ...