KARL C. MANUEL, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Submitted: February 12, 2018
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; SEITZ and TRAYNOR, Justices.
F. Traynor, Justice
the appellant's direct appeal from his conviction and
sentencing in the Superior Court. Having considered the
no-merit brief and motion to withdraw submitted by the
appellant's counsel under Supreme Court Rule 26(c), the
State's response, and the Superior Court record, it
appears to the Court that:
Wilmington Police Detective Matthew Rosaio conducted a
pat-down search of the appellant, Karl C. Manuel, on May 19,
2016. Detective Rosaio seized a handgun from Manuel's
pants pocket. Manuel did not have a license to carry a
concealed deadly weapon.
Detective Rosaio placed Manuel under arrest. In the affidavit
incident to the arrest warrant, Detective Rosaio stated, in
During the patdown, this officer immediately felt a hard
object in what I know through training and experience to be
consistent with a handgun in [Manuel's] left pant cargo
pocket. This officer asked MANUEL what the object was, to
which MANUEL dropped his head and stated, "…a
gun." MANUEL was taken into custody without incident and
this officer removed the following from his left cargo
pocket: A black and purple in color LC9, .380 cal
semi-automatic handgun (Serial: 329-10965). This officer
immediately made the weapon safe and found that it was loaded
with 6 live rounds of hornaday .380 cal ammunition (Chamber
Following his arrest, Manuel was indicted in September 2016
for drug, traffic, and three weapon offenses: Possession of a
Firearm by a Person Prohibited ("PFBPP"),
Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited
("PABPP"), and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon
("CCDW"). Manuel waived his right to a jury trial
and was tried before a Superior Court judge on January 18,
parties stipulated at trial that Manuel was a person
prohibited from possessing a firearm. During the State's
case-in-chief, Detective Rosaio testified that the firearm
seized from Manuel was a "Ruger LC9 semiautomatic
handgun."On cross-examination, Manuel's counsel
asked the Detective, "[T]urning to your affidavit, is it
fair to describe the handgun in this case as an LC .380
semiautomatic?" Detective Rosaio answered, "Ruger
LC9, 380-caliber, yes."
the close of the State's evidence, Manuel's counsel
moved for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that the evidence
adduced at trial-namely, Detective Rosaio's testimony
that Manuel was found in possession of a loaded and concealed
Ruger LC9 semiautomatic 380-caliber handgun-did not prove the
allegations in the indictment that Manuel was found in
possession of a loaded and concealed "Ruger .9mm"
firearm. The trial judge denied the motion for judgment of
acquittal and ultimately found Manuel guilty of the weapon
offenses and a traffic offense.
appeal, Manuel's trial counsel has filed a no-merit brief
under Rule 26(c) and a corresponding motion to withdraw.
Manuel has supplemented the brief with a written submission,
challenging the denial of the motion for judgment of
acquittal and alleging reversible error in the "fatal
variance" between the indictment and the evidence
adduced at trial. The State has responded to Manuel's
submission and the position taken by his trial counsel and
has moved to affirm the Superior Court's judgment.
an appeal from the denial of a motion for judgment of
acquittal, we decide de novo "whether any
rational trier of fact, viewing the evidence in the light
most favorable to the State, could find a defendant guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt of all the elements of the
elements of a crime are defined by statute as "those
physical acts, attendant circumstances, results and states of
mind which are specifically included within the definition of
the offense[.]" The statutory elements of PFBPP and PABPP
are the knowing "purchasing, owning, possessing or
controlling [of] a deadly weapon or ammunition for a
firearm" by a person prohibited.[ ...