ZAMARIANNE (a.k.a. JONATHAN) BRADLEY Defendant-Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE Plaintiff-Below, Appellee.
Submitted: August 22, 2018
Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware ID No.
appeal from the Superior Court. AFFIRMED.
M. Walker, Esquire, Office of the Public Defender,
Wilmington, Delaware, for Appellant.
Carolyn S. Hake, Esquire, Department of Justice, Wilmington,
Delaware, for Appellee.
VALIHURA, VAUGHN and TRAYNOR, Justices.
August 2, 2017, a jury found Zamarianne Bradley
("Bradley") guilty of first-degree assault of a law
enforcement officer and resisting arrest. She now appeals
that conviction and the trial court's ruling denying her
motion for acquittal. Bradley argues that the evidence was
insufficient for the jury to find that Bradley's victim
suffered the requisite "serious physical injury"
for the First Degree Assault conviction, and that the jury
instruction on that charge prevented the jury from
intelligently performing its duties. We deny Bradley's
requests on appeal and AFFIRM Bradley's conviction.
RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
April 26, 2016, at a station south of Delaware, Bradley
boarded an Amtrak Acela train bound for Boston. When the
conductor asked for her ticket, Bradley said that she had
already given him one and refused to show it to him again.
The conductor then asked for Bradley's identification so
that he could determine whether she actually had purchased a
ticket, but again Bradley refused to do as requested. The
conductor told Bradley that, in order to continue the trip,
she would need to help him verify her purchase or buy a
ticket in cash, or else disembark at the next stop,
Wilmington. But Bradley just walked away and took a seat.
When the train arrived in Wilmington, Bradley still had not
furnished a ticket or purchased one, and she refused to leave
the train, so the conductor called Amtrak police to compel
her to disembark.
Amtrak police officers soon approached Bradley's seat in
the back of one of the cars and asked her to present a
ticket. Bradley refused yet again, but said that her sister
had bought her a ticket. The officers still could not
corroborate the purchase and again requested that Bradley
purchase a ticket or leave the train. And, yet again, Bradley
refused to budge. The police officers threatened to arrest
her if she did not voluntarily leave the train. Their efforts
were to no avail.
officers told Bradley that she was under arrest, and she then
pressed her back to the wall and started to fight the police.
She flailed her arms and kicked and punched the officers as
they tried to extract her from her seat. She soon threw
herself to the floor and continued flailing in the aisle of a
train car filled with passengers as the officers struggled to
restrain her. Amid the altercation, Officer Shawn Martin
("the Officer"), a uniformed patrol officer,
arrived with another Amtrak police officer as backup. The
Officer restrained Bradley's left arm while the other
officers struggled to handcuff her, and the Officer lost his
balance due to a sudden change in the center of gravity as
someone fell and pulled him down. As the Officer adjusted to
keep himself from falling farther, Bradley's teeth broke
through two layers of the Officer's clothing, latched
onto his right tricep, and she bit him. The Officer
"cried in pain, " and screamed, "I'm
bit." Blood starting flowing down his elbow. The
Officer later described the pain as "horrendous"
and a "burning, grabbing" feeling. He darted to the
restroom to wash his wound with antiseptic foam because he
feared contracting a disease.
the Officer checked on his wound, Bradley continued fighting
the other officers. It took five to six minutes for them to
remove Bradley from the train by dragging her on her back by
her arms and legs, and they eventually subdued her on a
narrow section of the platform after another five to six
minutes-all while trying not to fall onto the tracks and risk
standard operating procedure, separate ambulances were called
for the Officer and Bradley. At Saint Francis Hospital, the
Officer was prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, to
prevent HIV transmission. Two-and-a-half weeks into the regimen,
the police learned that Bradley had HIV and Hepatitis C,
compelling the Officer to finish the full 28-day treatment
cycle, which included a "cocktail" of
pills. He testified that "[o]bviously, with
any interaction like that, any human bite, you're
concerned with disease transmission." "The mouth is
a dirty thing."
Officer further testified at trial that the treatment caused
him to feel as much nausea as he did when he had undergone
chemo and radiation therapy for a previous illness. He also
had diarrhea. He testified that he was unable to have a solid
bowel movement for the entirety of the treatment. As of
trial, more than a year after Bradley's arrest, the
Officer retained a scar, including discoloration, from the
bite. At trial, the Officer testified that he had not tested
positive for HIV, but he was still undergoing testing. He
testified that he had to have his blood tested for two years
and that doctors could not tell him definitively whether or
not he contracted HIV from Bradley.
the scuffle, the Officer also suffered a hip injury, and the
pain persisted for days. It turns out that he had torn his
labrum, which required surgery. The recovery prevented him
from performing his normal work duties for more than a year.
He visited the doctor at least fifteen times and completed
eight weeks of physical therapy. He testified at trial that
he was still experiencing hip pain and had also developed
lower back pain from a prolonged period of walking with an
jury indicted Bradley on one count of Robbery First Degree,
two counts of Assault First Degree, one count of Attempted
Assault First Degree, one count of Resisting Arrest, one
count of misdemeanor Theft of Services, and one count of
misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct. The first count of
Assault First Degree (Count II) charged Bradley with
intentionally causing serious physical injury to a law
enforcement officer by biting him. The second count of
Assault First Degree (Count III) charged Bradley with
recklessly causing serious physical injury to the
Officer's hip while committing or attempting the felony
of Resisting Arrest. The Attempted Assault First Degree count
(Count IV) charged Bradley with attempting to seriously and
permanently disfigure the Officer or permanently disable a
member or organ of his body by biting him while knowing that
she had an infectious disease.
trial was held on August 1 and August 2, 2017, and before the
jury began deliberations at the end of trial, the trial court
gave it the following instruction concerning the definition
of "serious physical injury," an element of the
crime of Assault First Degree:
The term 'serious physical injury' means any physical
injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which
causes serious and prolonged disfigurement, prolonged
impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the
function of any bodily organ.
jury convicted Bradley of Assault First Degree for
intentionally causing serious physical injury to a law
enforcement officer by biting him (Count II) and Resisting
Arrest (Count V). Bradley was acquitted on the additional
charge of Assault First Degree (Count III) and Attempted
Assault First Degree (Count IV). The State had declined to
prosecute the charges of Theft of Services and Disorderly
Conduct (Counts VI and VII, respectively). The Court sua
sponte dismissed the Robbery First Degree charge (Count
I). This appeal followed.
appeal, Bradley contends that this Court should reverse her
conviction of Assault First Degree (Count II) for two
reasons. First, she asserts that, viewing the evidence in the
light most favorable to the prosecution, there was
insufficient evidence for a rational jury to find that the
Officer had suffered a "serious physical injury,"
as required for conviction. Second, she argues that the trial
court's jury instruction for "serious physical
injury" constituted plain error because it failed to
supply the statutory definition of the term "physical
injury" embedded in that instruction. Thus, she appears
to suggest that, since the statutory definition of
"physical injury" is arguably narrower than the
term as used in common parlance, "the jury could not
determine whether there was a less serious form of injury for
which Bradley may actually have been
Bradley's arguments fail on appeal. First, reviewing the
evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution,
there is a clear basis for a rational jury to conclude that
the Officer suffered "serious physical injury" as a
result of Bradley's actions.Second, given that
Bradley's counsel failed to object to the jury
instruction given at trial, we review the trial court's
jury instruction for plain error,  and will order a new
trial only if, after finding error, we deem it to be "so
clearly prejudicial to substantial rights as to jeopardize
the fairness and integrity of the trial
process." Here, the trial court's jury
instruction tracked the statutory definition of "serious
physical injury" and did not constitute plain error,
even without including the statutory definition of the term
"physical injury" embedded in that definition.
The Prosecution's evidence, including the Officer's
scar, was sufficient for a rational trier of fact to find
that the Officer had suffered a "serious physical
contends that the record was insufficient to support a
finding by any rational trier of fact that the Officer
suffered a "serious physical injury." As defined in
11 Del. C. § 222(26), a "serious physical
injury" is a "physical injury which creates a
substantial risk of death, or which causes serious and
prolonged disfigurement, prolonged impairment of health or
prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily
organ, or which causes the unlawful termination of a
pregnancy without the consent of the pregnant
appeal, this Court defers to the jury's factual findings
because "the jury is the sole trier of fact responsible
for determining witness credibility, resolving conflicts in
testimony and for drawing any inferences from the proven
facts." Further, we have said that a
victim's testimony on the extent of his or ...