ROBERT E. BOYKIN, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Submitted: October 25, 2017
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
VAUGHN, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
COLLINS J. SEITZ, JR. JUSTICE.
18th day of January 2018, having considered the
parties' briefs on appeal and their supplemental
memoranda addressing an error in the record, it appears to
the Court that:
April 2015, New Castle County Safe Streets began
investigating Robert E. Boykin, a Level III probationer, on
the suspicion that Boykin was selling crack cocaine out of a
motel room in New Castle County. On May 7, 2015, a team of
police and probation officers observed Boykin engaging in
what appeared to be hand-to-hand drug transactions from his
motel room. The officers also watched Boykin leave the motel
room, get into the driver's seat of a car, and drive
away. Knowing that Boykin was driving on a suspended or
revoked driver's license, the officers conducted a
traffic stop, which was recorded by the patrol vehicle's
dash cam video recorder.
a search of the immediate area of the traffic stop, the
police found two baggies containing crack cocaine
approximately twenty-five yards behind Boykin's car.
Then, in a pre-approved administrative search, a probation
officer found drug paraphernalia-and Boykin's
girlfriend-in Boykin's motel room. Boykin's
girlfriend advised the officer that Boykin had been selling
crack cocaine from the motel room where she and Boykin had
been living for several weeks.
Boykin was indicted in July 2015 for drug dealing, illegal
possession of a controlled substance (hereinafter
"Illegal Possession"), possession of drug
paraphernalia, and driving on a suspended or revoked license.
Boykin pleaded guilty on November 9, 2015 to drug dealing and
Illegal Possession and was sentenced on December 18, 2015.
For drug dealing, the Superior Court re-declared Boykin a
habitual offender and sentenced him to six years and six
months of Level V incarceration. For Illegal Possession, the
court imposed one year of Level V incarceration suspended for
2016, Boykin filed a timely pro se motion for
postconviction relief raising claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and
involuntary guilty plea. All of the claims revolved around
Boykin's contention that, contrary to what he was told by
a police detective following his arrest, the dash cam video
recording of the traffic stop did not show him throwing the
baggies of crack cocaine from his car window.
Boykin requested and was appointed postconviction counsel.
After reviewing the record, postconviction counsel moved to
withdraw on the basis that Boykin's claims were without
merit and counsel could find no other substantial grounds for
relief. By decision dated January 30, 2017, the Superior
Court granted the motion to withdraw and denied the motion
for postconviction relief. This appeal followed.
Having carefully considered the parties' briefs and the
Superior Court record, we affirm the judgment of the Superior
Court on the basis of the court's well-reasoned decision
of January 30, 2017. The Superior Court did not abuse its
discretion or commit legal error when determining that
Boykin's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and
prosecutorial misconduct were without merit and that
Boykin's involuntary guilty plea claim was belied by the
When reviewing this appeal after the briefs were filed, the
Court noted several places in the record where Illegal
Possession-one of the charges for which Boykin was indicted,
pleaded guilty, and sentenced-was listed in error as Illegal
Possession with an aggravating factor. We asked the
parties to submit supplemental memoranda addressing the
its memorandum, the State advised that it investigated the
matter and discovered that "there was an input error at
some point into [the] JIC [system]." As a result of
the input error, the Illegal Possession charge appeared in
the case docket as Illegal Possession with an aggravating
statute, a person charged and convicted of Illegal Possession
with an aggravating factor is subject to a one-year
prison sentence. A person charged and convicted of Illegal