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State v. Taylor

Superior Court of Delaware

November 30, 2017

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
MARK TAYLOR, Defendant.

          Submitted: August 14, 2017

         Upon Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief DENIED.

          Rebecca E. Anderson, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Attorney for the State of Delaware.

          Edward C. Gill, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant.

          OPINION

          BRADY, J.

         I. INTRODUCTION & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Before the Court is a Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61") filed by Mark Taylor ("Defendant"). Defendant alleges ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

         On December 7, 2015, Defendant was arrested for multiple charges of possession of a controlled substance; multiple charges of manufacture, deliver, or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; one assault charge; one charge for resisting arrest; one charge of tempering with physical evidence; and one charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Counsel was appointed and on December 31, 2015 filed requests for discovery. On January 5, 2016, before discovery was provided, Defendant pled guilty to Drug Dealing in Tier 4 quantity, and Assault in the Second Degree. Defendant did not file for an appeal. On September 8, 2016, Defendant, through retained counsel, filed a Motion for Postconviction Relief. This Court requested Defendant's trial counsel file a Rule 61(g) Affidavit to address Defendant's claims, and received the Affidavit on May 2, 2017.[1] The State notified the Court on May 16, 2017 that it did not intend to file a Response to Defendant's Motion.[2] On August 11, 2017, the Court received Defendant's reply to trial counsel's Affidavit. This is the Court's decision.

         II. PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

         Defendant asserts trial counsel was ineffective in several ways. Defendant contends trial counsel "did not provide any effective assistance of counsel whatsoever."[3] Defendant contends had trial counsel been effective, he would not have taken the plea and would have pursued several legal issues. The first issue Defendant raises is that "[t]he seizure in this case was clearly unreasonable under both the Delaware and United States Constitution."

         Defendant claims trial counsel was ineffective for not reviewing any recordings of the in- car cameras or body cameras. Defendant claims the lack of review of the cameras' contents was prejudicial to him.

         Defendant contends trial counsel did not raise issues with regards to three search warrants, and that proper suppression motions should have been filed because the warrants lacked probable cause and were "illegally done in violation of the Delaware and United States Constitution."[4]

         Defendant lastly claims trial counsel failed to inform him of the issues involving the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ("OCME")/Division of Forensic Science ("DFS"). Defendant contends if he "had known about the problems occurring in OCME/DFS he would not have agreed to take the plea and thus was prejudiced.

         Trial counsel avers that Defendant wanted to enter a plea the day trial counsel first met the Defendant for his preliminary hearing on December 17, 2015.[5] Trial counsel avers he advised the Defendant that it would be in Defendant's best interest to allow him more time to acquire and review discovery material before making any decision about a plea.[6] Trial counsel contends he "strongly advised the Defendant against taking a plea until I had an opportunity to conduct a proper and thorough review of all discovery material."[7] Trial counsel avers that Defendant insisted upon entering a plea before affording him an opportunity to acquire any video and/or audio recordings, and/or, copies of any warrants. Lastly, trial counsel contends he was not aware of any ongoing problems affecting the OCME/DFS at the time, and that he "would have been ineffective in counseling Movant if I would have inferred that any past problems experienced by the then OCME still existed under DFS."[8]

         III. ...


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