Murder 1st (F) RK92-03-0357-01 PDWDCF (F)
Consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction
Relief Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
Stephen R. Welch, Jr., Esquire, Department of Justice, for
the State of Delaware.
Alexander W. Funk, Esquire, Curley, Dodge & Funk, LLC,
Dover, Delaware for Defendant.
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND
M. FREUD, COMMISSIONER
Defendant, Charles L. Scott ("Scott"), was found
guilty on November 17, 1992, by a jury, of one count of
Murder in the First Degree, 11 Del. C. § 636,
and one count of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the
Commission of a Felony, 11 Del. C. § 1447. The
companion charge of Burglary in the Second Degree and a
second count of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the
Commission of a Felony were nolle prossed by the
State. The case had originally been a capital murder case but
prior to trial the State indicated to the Court and defense
that it was not intending to seek the Death Penalty. A
presentence investigation was ordered and on January 8, 1993
Scott was sentenced to mandatory life in prison on the Murder
in the First Degree charge and an additional five years on
the Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a
timely Notice of Appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court was
filed. Scott's counsel filed a brief and Motion to
Withdraw pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 26(c). In the motion,
counsel represented that he conducted a conscientious review
of the record and concluded that no meritorious issues
existed. By letter, counsel informed Scott of the provisions
of Rule 26(c) and attached a copy of the Motion to Withdraw
and accompanying brief. Scott was informed of his right to
supplement his attorney's presentation. Scott did not
raise any issues for the Supreme Court to consider.
Supreme Court granted the State's Motion to Affirm and
affirmed Scott's conviction on February 3, 1994, finding
the appeal "wholly without merit and devoid of any
arguably appealable issue." The mandate issued on
February 23, 1994. On May 22, 2013, Scott filed a pro
se motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Superior
Court Criminal Rule 61. In his pro se motion, Scott
raised five grounds for relief, in part, alleging ineffective
assistance of counsel.
April 26, 2013 the Court appointed Alexander W. Funk, Esquire
("Appointed Counsel") to represent Scott in his
motion. After numerous extensions of time to file the amended
motion for postconviction relief it was filed on February 8,
2016. In the amended motion only one ground for relief was
initial pro se postconviction motion Scott raised
the following grounds for relief:
Ground one: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel at Critical
Ground two: Bias Jury Selection Process.
Ground three: Fair Trial Denied.
Ground four: Ineffective Assistance - Plea Negotiation
Ground five: Ineffective Assistance - Appellate Process.
amended motion filed by Appointed Counsel only one ground for
relief is raised and none of Scott's original claims are
discussed. The only claim raised is as follows:
Ground one: Mr. Scott's Defense at Trial of Extreme
Emotional Distress; His Conviction For Murder First Degree;
and His Sentence of Life in Prison Were Constitutionally
Deficient, As they Failed to Consider Mr. Scott's Status
As An 18 Year Old Adolescent, With Immature Brain Development
In the Areas of Impulse Control, Decision-Making, and
Foresight of ...