Submitted: October 18, 2017
Grubb, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice,
Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State of Delaware.
A. Salasky, pro se.
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE
Katharine L. Mayer Commissioner.
5th day of December, 2017, upon consideration of
Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief and the
record in this matter, the following is my Report and
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
December 5, 2011, Defendant was indicted on twenty-four
felony charges relating to certain events that culminated in
the murder of a New Castle County police officer. The case
was specially assigned and intensely scrutinized by the
court, the State of Delaware and appointed counsel for
Defendant. At the time of the incident, Defendant was on
probation for other felony convictions as well. Defense
counsel moved for a proof positive hearing and the court
eventually held that there was sufficient evidence supporting
two of the Murder First Degree charges for Defendant to be
held without bail. Extensive discovery was exchanged,
numerous motions were filed, and Defendant underwent a
psychiatric/psychological evaluation. Defendant eventually
plead guilty but mentally ill to 15 criminal
charges. After consideration of the psychological
reports, the Court issued findings that Defendant was
competent to enter a plea and that the plea was entered
knowingly and voluntarily. On January 17, 2014, Defendant was
sentenced to two life sentences, plus 157
years. Defendant did not appeal his conviction.
On October 16, 2017, Defendant filed a. pro se
Motion for Post conviction Relief.
to Super. Ct. Crim. R. 61(d)(5) the Motion may be summarily
dismissed because it plainly appears from the record in the
case that the motion is procedurally barred and movant is not
entitled to relief. As such, the Court should not consider
the merits of the claims.
initial matter, Defendant's Motion is barred by Super.
Ct. Crim. R. 61(i)(1) for having been filed more than one
year after the judgment of conviction became final.
Defendant's judgment of conviction became final on
February 16, 2014. This Motion, having been filed more than
31/2 years later, is untimely.
pursuant to Super. Ct. Crim. R. 61(i)(3) and (4), any ground
for relief that was not previously raised is deemed waived,
and any claims that were formerly adjudicated, whether in the
proceedings leading to the judgment of conviction, in an
appeal, in a postconviction proceeding, or in a federal
habeas corpus proceeding, are thereafter barred.
first claims that he was held "in cognito" by New
Castle County Police for questioning at Christiana Care
before being charged with crimes. It is difficult to discern
the legal basis of Defendant's claim, however what is
clear is that this claim was waived when Defendant plead
guilty and/or is procedurally defaulted because Defendant
failed to raise it in the original proceedings.
next presents several allegations of illegal searches and
seizures by claiming his mother's house was raided, his
truck impounded, his father's ashes impounded, and his
girlfriend's property taken on "trumped up
charges." Each of these issues was addressed by the
Court's Opinion denying Defendant's Motion to Suppress
Searches. These claims were previously adjudicated and are
also argues that he gave a confession under a drug induced
state. The Opinion addressed the Defendant's Motion to
Suppress Statements, noted the State withdrew its opposition
to the motion, and granted it in part. Like the previous
issue, this matter was already adjudicated, in this instance
favorably to Defendant, and will not now be reconsidered.
extent Defendant argues his plea was given while under the
influence of pharmaceutical drugs, this is not untrue, but it
does not afford Defendant relief. Defendant's use and
need for mental health medication was well known to the
parties and the Court and in fact, was a basis for his guilty
but mentally ill defense.
defendant's statements to the Court during the guilty
plea colloquy are presumed to be truthful and Defendant is
bound by his statements to the Court. At the Plea Hearing, the
Truth-in-Sentencing Form and Plea Agreement were presented to
the Court and acknowledged by Defendant. Trial Counsel
notified the Court that Defendant was under the influence of
prescribed medications but that he had been given the
appropriate amounts, at the appropriate time, with the
desired effect. Trial counsel believed Defendant was thinking
clearly and understood the proceedings. The Court then
addressed Defendant and asked about the prescribed
medication. Defendant acknowledged that the medication kept
him from having adverse symptoms and that he was not under
the influence of any other drugs or alcohol. The Court's
colloquy with Defendant was thorough and addressed each of
the charges, as well as all rights that were being waived
through Defendant's plea of guilty but mentally ill.
Defendant stated no one made any threats or forced him in any
way to enter into the agreement and he was satisfied with his
counsel's representation. After a detailed review of the
charges, plea and sentence, the Court found that based upon
the colloquy with Defendant, the plea was knowledgeable,
voluntary and based in fact. Further, the Court's GBMI
Order specifically states:
The Court, based upon its observations of the Defendant at
the time of the plea, his responsiveness to the Court's
questions, and counsels' representations regarding their
ability to communicate with the Defendant regarding the
consequences of entering a pea, and finding nothing contrary
in the expert reports provided, finds that the Defendant was
competent to enter a plea and the ...