submitted: February 7, 2018
H. Sheridan, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware
Department of Justice, 820 N. French St. 7th
Floor, Wilmington, DE, 19801. Attorney for the State.
C. Skoranski, Esquire, Office of Defense Services, 820 N.
French St. 3rdFloor, Wilmington, DE, 19801. Attorney for
COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS TO
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
before the Court is a motion filed by Cooper to dismiss the
charges against him. Copper alleges that the State has
violated his right to a speedy trial as guaranteed under the
Sixth Amendment to the United Stated Constitution and Article
I, Section 7 of the Delaware State Constitution, and Superior
Court Crim. Rule 48. Because a motion to dismiss is case
dispositive, I am issuing my decision in the form of a Report
consideration of the arguments of counsel and the relevant
legal standards, it is my recommendation that Cooper's
Motion to Dismiss should be GRANTED.
and Procedural History
was arrested on May 29, 2016. It is alleged that during an
argument with his grandmother Copper pointer his finger in
her face and threatened to kill her. Cooper was arrested and
has been held in default of bail since the date of the
incident. Copper was indicted on August 1, 2016, for one
count of Menacing and one count of Terroristic Threatening
(felony, victim >62).
was originally scheduled for November 15, 2016, however, on
that date, defense counsel requested that a competency
evaluation be conducted. Cooper was subsequently evaluated by
Andrew Donohue, DO, of the Delaware Psychiatric Center (DPC).
Dr. Donohue opined that Copper was not competent to stand
trial due to his psychotic symptoms and that without a court
order for the involuntary administration of anti-psychotic
medication pursuant to Sell v. United States, 539
U.S. 166 (2003), restoration was highly unlikely. Dr. Donohue
also stated that Cooper was refusing to participate in
competency restoration classes.
office conference was held before the undersigned
commissioner on July 18, 2017. At that time, all parties
agreed that an updated competency evaluation should be
obtained. On August 4, 2017, Douglas S. Roberts, Psy.D., also
of DPC, sent a letter to the Court opining that Cooper was
still not competent to stand trial and that without
involuntary medication that was unlikely to
second office conference was held on September 21, 2017,
before this commissioner. At that time, the State indicated
that it was going to file a Sell Motion to have
Cooper involuntarily medicated in an effort to restore
competency. The Court ordered the motion to be filed no later
than October 31, 2017. To date, the State has filed no such
motion. In response to the State's lack of action, Cooper
filed the instant Motion to Dismiss on November 29, 2017.
After repeated inquires by the Court, the State filed its
Response on February 7, 2017. The State's Response does
not address Cooper's lack of competency, nor does it move
for an order pursuant to Sell v. United States.
Motion to Dismiss
argues that his right to a speedy trial has been violated.
For this determination, I will utilize the four factor test
established by the United States Supreme Court in Barker
v. Wingo. The four factors are: (1) the length of
the delay, (2) the reason for the delay, (3) ...