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State v. Carter

Superior Court of Delaware

October 31, 2017


          Submitted: August 6, 2017

          Reissued: November 29, 2017

         Upon State's Motion to Restrict Discovery, GRANTED.

          Gregory E. Smith, Attorney for the State

          Jermaine Carter, James T. Vaughn, pro se




         The State has filed a Motion to Restrict Discovery in the above-referenced matter, prompted by the Defendants' pro se appeal of the Order of this Court, dated February 23, 2017, denying his motion for postconviction relief. The State seeks to prevent the release of recordings of victim interviews to a third party[1] claiming the information therein is highly personal.

         Further, former defense counsel seeks guidance regarding what portions of his file may be provided to Defendant without redactions. The Court required the State to itemize those documents it did not wish to allow be provided, unredacted, to the Defendant, and to provide copies of any such documents, redacted and unredacted for an in camera review. The Court received a volume of information on August 6, 2017, and has reviewed each item. This is the Court's decision.

         II. FACTS

         On October 13, 2008, Defendant approached Cherish Ford ("Ford") on Wilmington Street while she was taking her child out of her car. Defendant displayed a silver colored handgun and stated "give me your money." Ford turned over $4, several credit cards and her purse, after which Carter fled.

         On October 14, 2008, in the 800 block of North Madison Street in Wilmington, Defendant pulled Deja Hardin ("Hardin") into an alley, told her, "don't move or I'll kill you, " and robbed her of an MP-3 player and her purse.

         On October 15, 2008, T.T.[2] was walking in the 1400 block of Northeast Boulevard in Wilmington, Delaware. Defendant approached T.T., displayed a silver handgun, and forced her into an alley near the 1100 block of 14th Street. Defendant ordered T.T. to remover her pants and underwear and told her to get on her knees. Defendant then raped her anally and vaginally, took three silver-colored rings from her and fled on foot. T.T. immediately reported the crimes, underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital at which evidence was collected, and identified Defendant as her assailant from a photographic lineup.

         On October 16, 2008, Defendant encountered R.T. walking in the 3100 block of North Jefferson Street. Defendant produced a silver and black handgun, place the gun at the back of R.T.'s head, grabbed R.T. by the arm, and forced her into the rear yard of a house in the vicinity, where Defendant engaged in nonconsensual sexual intercourse with R.T. Defendant then emptied the contents of R.T.'s book bag, took a cell phone, and fled on foot. R.T. then spotted two teenagers who were on their way to school, one of which contacted the police. R.T. underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital at which evidence was collected.

         Police arrested Defendant on October 17, 2008. At the time of the arrest, Defendant was in possession of silver and black handgun. Defendant was taken into custody and admitted to going into an alley with T.T., but asserted that they had done so for the purpose of having consensual sexual intercourse. Defendant admitted displaying a handgun and taking property from T.T. Defendant admitted robbing R.T., but denied raping her. Defendant also confessed to robbing both Ford and Hardin.

         On December 8, 2008, the New Castle County Grand Jury indicted Defendant on counts of Rape in the First Degree, Kidnapping in the Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony ("PFDCF"), Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited ("PFPP"), and Robbery in the First Degree.[3] On December 18, 2009 Defendant pled guilty to Rape in the First Degree, Rape in the Second Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, PFDCF, and two counts of Kidnapping in the Second Degree during a full colloquy with the Court.[4] On June 4, 2010 when Defendant was scheduled to be sentenced, defense counsel and the State presented Defendant's mental health evaluations to the Court. The Court found a factual basis to change the plea to guilty but mentally ill, and conducted a brief colloquy with Defendant.[5] Because Defendant was pleading to the same charges, once the Court found that Defendant qualified for the guilty but mentally ill plea, and that he voluntarily wished to change to such, the Court noted that it was satisfied with Defendant's answers at the December 9, 2009, Plea Hearing.[6]Defendant was then sentenced to life imprisonment, plus 45 years.[7] Defendant did not file a direct appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.

         The Defendant filed a Motion for Postconviction Relief, making numerous claims of ineffectiveness by prior counsel. Counsel was appointed to represent him with regard to the Motion. On February 23, 2017, this Court denied the Motion and allowed appointed counsel to withdraw. The Defendant appealed that decision. The present matter before the Court arises from the prosecution of that appeal.

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Court reviewed the redacted and unredacted copies of documents provided by the State. The nature of the redacted information is itemized below; utilizing the same numbering as to each document as was listed in the State's correspondence.

1. DNA Unit Analysis Reports for Police Complaint No. 30-08-85586.
Deleted all but initials of names.
2. DNA Unit Analysis Reports for Police Complaint No. 30-08-96025 and Police Complaint No. 30-08-96338.
Deleted all but initials of names.
3. Transcript of Jermaine Carter's October 17, 2008 statement to police.
Deleted where Defendant was staying
Deleted where Dad was staying
Deleted where Defendant works
Deleted Mom's name
Deleted Brother's name
Deleted Dad's name
Deleted Sisters' names
Deleted where he stayed on particular date
Deleted some locations
Deleted Defendant phone number
Deleted Defendant address
Deleted Defendant workplace location
Deleted Defendant's Social Security number
Deleted Defendant's date of birth
4. Christiana Care Medical/FNE records for Victim TT.
Deleted full name/signature
5. Christiana Care Medical/FNE records for Victim SN.
Deleted full name/signature
Note - stapled papers include a lineup array
6. Christiana Care Medical/FNE records for Victim RT.
Deleted name/signature of Victim
Additionally, the ER Dept. page deleted Victim's personal information including health insurance information
7. Photo lineups used for identification in Complaint No. 30-08-89710.
Appears signature might be deleted; this Judge saw no difference between redacted and unredacted copies.
8. Photo lineups used for identification in Complaint No. 30-0-85586.
Deleted signature
9. Victim/witness criminal history information.
Series of DELJIS charge summaries
Deleted names/dates of birth of the individuals
The Court notes that one of the records reflects a felony conviction.
10. Transcript of SN police interview, dated September 14, 2008.
Deleted specific address on Vandever Avenue
Deleted first name of individual on whose door the Victim knocked
Deleted full name of Victim
11. Transcript of TT police interviews, dated October 15 and 17, 2008.
Deleted Victim's name/date of birth
Deleted Victim's address/phone number
Deleted Victim's brother's name Deleted specific locations
Deleted name M___
Deleted name D___
Deleted name R___
In Photo Array, deleted full name of Victim, TT
12. Transcript of RT interview, dated October 17, 2008.
Deleted RT's full name
Deleted RT's date of ...

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