DESI R. SYKES, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Submitted: December 27, 2017
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
VALIHURA, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
Collins J. Seitz, Jr. Justice.
20th day of March 2018, upon consideration of the
appellant's opening brief, the appellee's motion to
affirm, and the record on appeal, it appears to the Court
appellant, Desi R. Sykes, filed this appeal from a Superior
Court order dated October 10, 2017, denying his motion for
postconviction relief under Superior Court Criminal Rule 61.
The State has moved to affirm the Superior Court's
judgment on the ground that it is manifest on the face of
Sykes' opening brief that the appeal is without merit. We
agree and affirm the judgment below on the basis of and for
the reasons assigned in a Commissioner's Report and
Recommendation dated September 15, 2017, which was adopted by
the Superior Court.
Against the advice of his trial counsel, Sykes pleaded guilty
in 1996 to attempted intentional murder in the first degree
and all other offenses in an indictment brought against him
for his assault of a correctional officer. The Superior Court
sentenced Sykes to life in prison without parole and an
additional 106 years of incarceration and further ordered
that the sentence should interrupt a mandatory life sentence
that Sykes was serving at the time for a murder he committed
in 1988 when he was a juvenile.
2014 and 2016, Sykes filed a motion and an amended motion for
postconviction relief challenging the validity of his 1996
guilty plea and sentence. Postconviction counsel was
appointed for Sykes. After reviewing the record, counsel
moved to withdraw on the basis that he could find no basis
upon which to collaterally attack the guilty plea and
September 15, 2017, a Superior Court Commissioner issued a
report recommending that Sykes' postconviction motion
should be denied and that postconviction counsel's motion
to withdraw should be granted. Sykes filed objections to the
Commissioner's report and recommendation. After de novo
review of the record, the Superior Court issued its October
10, 2017 order adopting the Commissioner's report and
recommendation and denying the motion for postconviction
Sykes has raised two claims on appeal: first, that the
Superior Court was without jurisdiction to accept his guilty
plea to attempted murder; and second, that the court should
have accepted his factual assertions that he had a conflict
with his trial counsel during plea
negotiations. Sykes finds support for his first claim in
Rambo v. State, a 2007 decision where we held that
that the Family Court erred when it essentially adjudicated
Rambo delinquent for attempted felony murder, an unrecognized
crime in Delaware. The Rambo decision has no bearing
in this case. Sykes pleaded guilty to attempted intentional
murder in the first degree-an offense within the jurisdiction
of the Superior Court. As for Sykes' second claim, there
were no plea negotiations in this case. Against the advice of
his trial counsel, Sykes pleaded guilty to the charges in the
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the motion to affirm is
GRANTED. The judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.
 Commissioner's Report and
Recommendation, State v. Sykes, 2017 WL 4122582
(Del. Super. Sept. 15, 2017), adopted by State v.
Sykes, Cr. ID No. 9510013360 ...