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State v. Windsor

Superior Court of Delaware, Sussex

July 19, 2018

State of Delaware
v.
William Windsor,

          DATE SUBMITTED: June 21, 2018

         Dear Mr. Windsor:

         Defendant William Windsor ("Defendant") has filed his second Motion for Postconviction Relief pursuant to Superior Court Criminal Rule 61 ("Rule 61 ").[1] For the reasons expressed below the motion is DENIED.

         On September 9, 2013, Defendant pled guilty to Rape in the Second Degree and pled nolo contendere to Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child.[2] On the day of sentencing, Defendant, without the participation of his attorney, moved to withdraw his pleas pursuant to Criminal Rule 32(d). The Court refused to hear Defendant's motion because it was not made through his attorney, it was not filed with notice to the State, and the evidence against Defendant was so overwhelming. Defendant was sentenced as follows: for Rape in the Second Degree, twenty-five years at Level Five, suspended after 20 years for decreasing levels of supervision; for Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, twenty-five years at Level Five, suspended after two years for two years of probation. Defendant appealed the Superior Court's denial of his motion to withdraw to the Delaware Supreme Court on January 7, 2014. On August 28, 2014, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision.[3]

         On February 20, 2015, Defendant filed his first Postconviction Motion. On March 25, 2015, the Superior Court denied Defendant's Motion.[4]

         On June 19, 2018, Defendant filed his second Motion for Postconviction Relief. He claims that: (1) he is actually innocent of his crimes and that one witness has since admitted her allegations were false; (2) he was subjected to double jeopardy with respect to the Rape in the Second Degree charge because that charge initially stemmed from the B case, but he pled guilty to that crime as part of the A case; (3) his motion to withdraw his guilty plea under Rule 32(d) should have been heard despite being made without the knowledge of his attorney; and (4) he was inadequately represented during plea negotiations and that if his attorney had informed him that the Indictment had been amended to include only 12 charges, instead of the original 51, he would not have accepted the offer.

         The first step in evaluating a motion under Rule 61 is to determine whether any of the procedural bars listed in Rule 6l(i) will force the motion to be procedurally barred.[5] Both Rule 61(i)(1) and (2) require this motion to be summarily dismissed. First, a motion for postconviction relief cannot be filed more than one year after the judgment is final.[6] Given that Defendant's conviction was finalized nearly 4 years ago, his motion is time-barred. Additionally, any successive motion for postconviction relief is barred by Rule 6l(i)(2) unless the Defendant has:

(i) [pled]...with particularity that new evidence exists that creates a strong inference that the movant is actually innocent in fact of the acts underlying the charges of which [he] was convicted; or
(ii) [pled]...with particularity a claim that a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the United States Supreme Court or the Delaware Supreme Court, applies to the movant's case and renders the conviction or death sentence invalid.[7]

         Thus, in order to overcome the Rule 6l(i)(2) bar, Defendant would have to show that either new evidence exists that creates a strong inference of actual innocence or that a new rule of constitutional law applied retroactively to his case. Defendant is unable to meet either criteria. The three affidavits included with Defendant's Motion are insufficient to create a strong inference that he is actually innocent of the crimes to which he pled guilty. Statements that one of the victims may have made to various individuals at some point in time after the conviction do not persuade the Court that it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have found Defendant guilty of his crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

         Considering the foregoing, Defendant's Motion for Postconviction relief is DENIED. As Defendant's Motion for Postconviction relief is denied, Defendant's Motion for Appointment of Counsel and Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis are also DENIED.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

         Very truly yours,

          RICHARD ...


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