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State v. White

Superior Court of Delaware

September 13, 2018

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY WHITE, Defendant.

          Submitted: August 28, 2018

         COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE DENIED

          Martin O'Connor, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Anthony White, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, pro se.

          Anthony A. Figliola, Jr., Esquire, Greto Law, Wilmington Delaware, counsel for Defendant.

          Katharine L. Mayer, Commissioner.

         This 13th day of September, 2018, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief and the record in this matter, the following is my Report and Recommendation.

         BACKGROUND, FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         1. In 2007, a jury found Defendant, Anthony White, guilty of Attempted Murder First Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.[1] Defendant filed an appeal, and his conviction was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court on September 5, 2008.[2]

         2. The facts were aptly summarized by the Supreme Court as follows:

On March 15, 2006, Jaywann Tucker and his friend, Ahmand Phoenix, were hanging out on the street after school. Tucker saw Qy-Mere Maddrey and decided to rob him. Tucker held a gun to Maddrey's face and took Maddrey's cell phone and marijuana. Maddrey then called his friend, White, and told him about the robbery. About half an hour later, Maddrey and White found Tucker and Phoenix on the street. Maddrey asked Tucker for Maddrey's cell phone and Tucker told him that he did not have it. White then pulled out a gun and started shooting at Tucker, who ran behind some buildings. White followed him and shot Tucker in the face, left shoulder and left foot.[3]

         3. On January 14, 2009, Defendant filed his (First) Motion for Postconviction Relief (the "First Motion").[4] Through his First Motion, Defendant alleged claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and errors made by the trial judge. That motion was denied[5] and on May 4, 2010, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgement of the Superior Court.[6]

         4. In its 2010 decision, the Supreme Court noted that the State presented surveillance camera videotape for the jury as well as gun casings, Detective Curley's testimony (chief investigating officer) and the police evidence technician's testimony. The Supreme Court recognized that:

The record reflects that the trial testimony of Tucker, Phoenix and Maddrey contradicted prior statements that each had given to Detective Curley. At trial, both Tucker and Maddrey testified that they witnessed White shooting at Tucker. In prior statements to Curley, however, Tucker told Curley that he didn't know who shot him and Maddrey told Curley that he - Maddrey - shot Tucker. Phoenix, on the other hand, after telling Curley in a prior statement that he saw White shooting at Tucker, testified at trial that he did not witness the shooting and had no knowledge of it whatsoever.
Not surprisingly, White's defense strategy focused on attacking the credibility of Tucker, Maddrey and Phoenix...[7]

         Defendant also argued in that appeal that he was prejudiced when Jeree "Re-Re" Richardson was not compelled to testify at trial. According to Defendant, Richardson would have testified that Maddrey shot Tucker and was present when Tucker robbed Maddrey. In resolving that matter, the Supreme Court determined that the record did not support Defendant's claim that Richardson would have testified as proposed, and even if he had, Defendant did not demonstrate that the result of the trial would have been different.[8]

         5. On August 16, 2010, Defendant filed a (Second) Motion for Postconviction Relief (the "Second Motion").[9] The Second Motion challenged certain communications between the trial judge and the jury, as well as the introduction of certain contradictory statements of one of the trial witnesses. The Second Motion was denied[10] and the Superior Court judgment was affirmed on appeal.[11]

         6. Defendant has now filed his (Third) Motion for Postconviction Relief (the "Third Motion").[12] Defendant's Third Motion presents the following claims: (i) the court lacked jurisdiction to convict him of Attempted Murder First Degree and he cannot be convicted of a "non-crime"; and (ii) newly discovered evidence demonstrates Defendant is actually innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted. Approximately four (4) months after his Third Motion was filed, Defendant also filed a Supplemental Report and Reasons for Relief White's Strickland/Brady Claims, which appears to raise claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and Brady violations (the "Supplemental Report").[13]

         7. On January 11, 2018, the Court asked Defendant to expand on his claim of new exculpatory evidence[14] and in response, Defendant submitted the following[15]:

(a) an unsigned/unsworn Investigative Insert summarizing an interview with Qy-Mere Maddrey (the "Maddrey Summary"). The Maddrey Summary purports to be an interview between an investigator and Maddrey from April 13, 2017. Maddrey is the uncle to Defendant's child and the notes reflect that Maddrey admitted to shooting the victim ...

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