Sex Abuse (F) (1 count) Rape 4th < 18(F) (5
counts) Breach Conditions (F) (56 counts)
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Defendant's Amended Motion for Postconviction Relief
Pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
Stephen R. Welch, Jr., Esquire, Deputy Attorney General,
Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.
A. Rowan, Pro se.
M. Freud, Commissioner
defendant, Bruce A. Rowan ("Rowan") was found
guilty, following a jury trial on December 6, 2010, of one
count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, 11 Del.
C. § 778; five counts of Rape in the Fourth Degree,
11 Del. C. § 770; and fifty-six counts of
Breach of Conditions, 11 Del. C. § 2109. He was
found not guilty of eleven additional counts of Rape in the
Fourth Degree and eight counts of Tampering with a Witness.
Prior to trial the State dismissed one count of Sex Offender
Unlawful Sexual Contact Against a Child, one count of
Endangering the Welfare of a Child and three counts of
Tampering with a Witness. Nolle prosequis were
entered on the remaining eleven counts of Tampering with a
Witness and thirteen counts of Breach of Conditions of
Release. On January 19, 2011 the State filed a motion to
declare Rowan an habitual offender. The Court granted the
motion on January 27, 2011 and sentenced Rowan to a total of
395 years incarceration suspended after serving 120 years,
timely Notice of Appeal was filed with the Delaware Supreme
Court by Rowan's initial Appellate Counsel, Bernard J.
O'Donnell, Esquire along with a Motion to Withdraw as
Counsel pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 26(c). In an Order
dated October 19, 2011, the Supreme Court granted Mr.
O'Donnell's motion to withdraw but simultaneously
appointed Alexander W. Funk, Esquire to represent Rowan in
his direct appeal. In the appeal the following claims were
raised that the Superior Court erred in: (1) denying
Rowan's motion to dismiss; (2) admitting in to evidence
tape recordings of his telephone calls from prison to the
victim and (3) admitting into evidence bond paperwork from
the Justice of the Peace Court. The Delaware Supreme Court
found no merit in any of the claims and affirmed Rowan's
conviction and sentence on May 18, 2012.
attempting to file several nonconforming motions for
postconviction relief and motions for appointment of counsel,
Rowan finally filed a conforming motion for postconviction
relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 along with
a memorandum of law on May 15, 2013, pro se. He
raised nine grounds for relief including ineffective
assistance of counsel. On May 28, 2013 Rowan filed a
conforming motion for appointment of counsel which was
granted by the Court. Natalie S. Woloshin, Esquire
("Appointed Counsel") was appointed to represent
Rowan on July 29, 2015. After an extremely thorough and
conscientious review of the facts, the record and the law in
the case, Appointed Counsel filed a motion to withdraw as
counsel having concluded that the motion was wholly without
merit and that no meritorious grounds for relief existed.
Rowan was sent a copy of the motion to withdraw and given 30
days to file a response. Appointed Counsel's motion to
withdraw was granted by the Court on October 27, 2015.
Rowan moved to have a substitute counsel appointed which was
denied by the Court on November 19, 2015. Next Rowan moved to
amend his pro se motion for postconviction relief on
August 11, 2016. After several revised brief schedules the
matter finally completed briefing and was sent for decision.
are the facts as set forth by the Delaware Supreme Court:
2) In January 2009, when Rowan was 41 years old, he began a
sexual relationship with Jane Carson, FN1 who told
Rowan she was 23, but actually was 16 years old. In April
2009 Carson became pregnant with Rowan's child and Rowan
moved in with her. Shortly after becoming pregnant, Carson
told Rowan her real age. Rowan moved out and began a
relationship with another woman. Carson then contacted the
police. After the baby was born, a DNA test confirmed that
Rowan is the father.
3) On October 30, 2009, Rowan was arrested an arraigned at
the police station via video phone connection with the
Justice of the Peace Court. The court faxed Rowan a bond
form, which he signed, that included an order prohibiting
contact between Rowan and Carson. Rowan was incarcerated in
default of $201, 000 cash bail. He was indicted on December
7, 2009, and the Superior Court issued a summons ordering
Rowan to be present at his arraignment on December 17, 2009.
Rowan's counsel was not available on that date, and the
arraignment was passed to the initial case review on December
4) On December 22, 2009, Rowan was released from prison based
on a disposition form submitted by the Court of Common Pleas
- apparently in error. At the December 28 arraignment and
case review, bond was set at $270, 000 cash. Rowan was unable
to post bond and again was incarcerated. Neither the court
nor the State address the no-contact order.
5)Rowan was re-indicted on September 7, 2010. The 56 counts
of breach of condition of release related to Rowan's
telephone contact with Carson from prison after his
arraignment on December 28th. He went to trial in
December 2010 and was convicted on all of the breach of
condition charges. mi This Court sua
sponte has assigned a pseudonym pursuant to Supr. Ct. R.
amended motion, Rowan raises the following grounds for
Ground one: Defense attorney's failures to act within a
reasonable scope of his professional duties violated
Defendant's right to effective assistance of counsel.
U.S.C.A 6 and 14.
Ground two: Defense Counsel failed to secure a copy of plea
offer in writing or properly discuss same in regards to
submission possible alternatives in conjunction with plea.
U.S. Const. Amend 6 and 14.
Ground three: Trial Court error; Prosecutorial Misconduct;
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel occurred when juvenile
statements was never 'evaluated' and improperly
admitted. U.S. Const. Amend. 6 and 14.
Ground four: In-court identification of Defendant by
State's witness violated Defendant's right to a fair
trial, when there was no 'independent origin' for
this 'In-court' identification. U.S. Const. Amend. 6
Ground five: Trial Court error; Ineffective Assistance of
Counsel for failure to object to introduction of prior bad
acts, or request a hearing (404) under DeShields v.
State. Del. Supr. 706 A.2d 502.
Ground six: Trial Court abused its discretion when it denied
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Breach of Conditions