Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief Pursuant to
Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
Rape 4th (F), RK15-02-0486-01 Consp 2nd
Kathleen A. Dickerson, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General,
Department of Justice, for the State of Delaware.
C. Gill, Esquire, Georgetown, Delaware for Defendant.
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M Freud, Commissioner
Defendant, Jaquan L. Harris ("Harris") pled guilty
on September 16, 2015 to one count of Rape in the Fourth
Degree, a lesser-included offense of Rape in the Second
Degree Without Consent, 11 Del. C. § 770 and
one count of Conspiracy in the Second Degree, 11 Del. C.
§ 512. The parties requested a pre-sentence report. On
November 10, 2015 the Court sentenced Harris to eleven total
years at Level V incarceration, suspended after serving nine
months at Level V, followed by six months at Level IV,
followed by one year at Level III probation. Harris is
currently scheduled to complete his probation period on
December 5, 2017. Had Harris gone to trial and been found
guilty of each of the charges, he faced a minimum mandatory
sentence of ten years in jail up to a potential of
twenty-seven years incarceration. Harris did not appeal his
conviction or sentence to the State Supreme Court. On January
11, 2016, Harris filed his first pro se Motion for
Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal
Rule 61, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. A
briefing schedule was set on Harris' pro se
motion and prior counsel and the State responded to
Harris' allegations. Prior to Harris filing his Reply,
Edward C. Gill, Esquire entered his appearance on behalf of
Harris on March 9, 2017 and requested additional time to file
an amended postconviction motion on Harris' behalf. The
request was granted and a new briefing schedule was issued.
Briefing has now completed and the matter is ripe for
following is a summary of the facts of the case as outlined
by the State in their response to Harris' amended motion
for postconviction relief and corroborated by the Search
warrant and arrest warrant's Affidavit of Probable Cause.
On October 25, 2014, Alyssa Stanley ("Victim")
sought medical treatment at Union Hospital in Elkton,
Maryland after a sexual assault. A forensic nurse at the
hospital examined the Victim and completed an evidence
collection kit. Detective Fox of the Smyrna Police Department
responded to the hospital and interviewed the Victim. She
informed Detective Fox that she had been in a relationship
with Harris and that she had plans to meet him at his house
earlier that day. She told the detective that she arrived at
Harris' after midnight and went to his bedroom with him.
She recounted that she and Harris had sexual intercourse
once. Later they started to have sex a second time but Harris
stopped in the middle of (sic) and told her that he needed to
get a condom. Victim, who was facing the wall, waited in the
dark bedroom for Harris' return. Someone, who she
presumed to Harris, re-entered the room and intercourse
resumed. A condom broke and the male having intercourse with
Victim remarked that he would "get another condom."
Victim, realizing that she did not recognize the voice,
discovered that the male she was having sex with was not
Harris. Victim became upset, screamed, struck the unknown
male, got dressed and left the house.
Based on the information provided by the Victim, officers
with the Smyrna Police Department obtained a search warrant
for Harris' residence. Two empty condom packets and bedding
were seized. When the officers executed the search warrant,
Harris answered the door and Victim's identification card
was seized from his pocket. Harris was transported to Smyrna
Police Department and provided a post-Miranda
statement. During this statement Harris admitted that he had
sexual intercourse with Victim and then sent his friend
Kevaughn Peacock into the room with instructions to pretend
to be Harris so he could have sex with Victim. Arrest
warrants were obtained for Harris on February 10,
original, pro se motion Harris raised the following
grounds for relief:
Ground one: Not informed of his right to counsel while being
questioned by the police.
Ground two: A Fourth Amendment violation occurred when police
"left behind" a live surveillance device.
Ground three: Coerced Guilty Plea.
Ground four: Ineffective assistance of counsel for not
raising grounds 1-3 earlier.
amended motion filed by Mr. Gill an additional ground was
raised as follows:
Ground five: That Harris was illegally arrested on October
25, 2014 without a warrant and therefore trial counsel should
have filed a motion to suppress Harris' statement to the
police and his failure to file a suppression ...