Submitted: September 27, 2018
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; VALIHURA and VAUGHN, Justices.
L. Valihura Justice
consideration of the appellant's Supreme Court Rule 26(c)
brief, the State's response, and the record below, the
Court concludes that:
July 12, 2017, a Superior Court jury found the appellant,
Franklin Wright, guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a
Person Prohibited ("PFBPP"), Possession of Firearm
Ammunition by a Person Prohibited ("PABPP"),
Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon ("CCDW"), two
counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of
Drug Paraphernalia, and Failure to Signal. After granting the
State's motion to declare Wright a habitual offender
under 11 Del. C. § 4214, the Superior Court
sentenced Wright to twenty-six years of Level V incarceration
suspended after twenty-three years for Level II probation.
This is Wright's direct appeal.
trial, Patrolman Thomas Kashner of the Newport Police
Department testified that, on July 11, 2016 at about 1:30
a.m., he saw a Dodge Caliber turn right without signaling
from Route 4 eastbound onto Route 141 southbound. Patrolman
Kashner directed the driver of the car, Wright, to pull over.
Wright was the only person in the car. Patrolman Kashner
testified that he could not initially determine who the car
was registered to because his computer was down, but after
speaking with Wright he was able to run the tag and determine
that the car was registered to Wright. When Kashner spoke to
Wright, he noticed the odor of marijuana.
Patrolman Kashner directed Wright to get out of the car.
Wright asked why and Patrolman Kashner explained it was due
to the marijuana odor. Wright said that he had marijuana and
gave Patrolman Kashner a bag of marijuana in his pocket.
Patrolman Kashner then searched the car.
found a bag of marijuana on the driver's seat, several
bags of heroin and a bag of crack cocaine in the driver's
side door, a bag with six .38 caliber handgun rounds in the
rear hatch along with clear plastic bags often used to
package controlled substances, a pill bottle with a
woman's name, and a chore boy pad that is often used to
filter crack. After noticing that the right hand corner of
the central console with the gear shift was sticking up
instead of flush with the rest of the console, Patrolman
Kashner lifted it up to find a loaded .22 caliber handgun.
The handgun was swabbed for DNA. A DNA sampled was obtained
forensic chemist testified that he tested the seized
substances. Testing revealed that the substances were
marijuana, crack cocaine, and heroin. After the Superior
Court denied Wright's motion to exclude the DNA
expert's testimony regarding the DNA results, the expert
testified that there was not enough amplified DNA on the
hammer or magazine swabs to make any conclusions. She found a
mixed DNA profile (meaning there was DNA from two or more
individuals) on the grip swaps with an unknown major
contributor. She also found a mixed DNA profile on the slide
swabs, but was unable to draw any conclusions due to the
nature of the profile.
Finally, she found a mixed DNA profile on the trigger that
Wright could be included as a potential contributor to. She
opined that one in three Caucasians and one in five African
Americans could be included as potential contributors to the
profile. The parties stipulated that Wright was a person
Before Wright testified, the Superior Court excluded his 2006
conviction for CCDW as more prejudicial than probative, but
admitted his 2008 conviction for Aggravated Assault under
Delaware Rule of Evidence 609(a)(1). Wright testified that
the drugs in the car belonged to him, but that he did not own
or know about the gun, bullets, and plastic baggies in his
car. He testified that he would rent his car out to drug
dealers in exchange for drugs or money to buy drugs.
According to Wright, he had rented his car out the same night
he was later pulled over by Patrolman Kashner. After Wright
denied that he had accused Patrolman Kashner of planting the
gun, the State called Patrolman Kashner again to testify that
Wright had told him "don't even try to plant that
shit" in reference to the gun. The jury found Wright guilty
of PFBPP, CCDW, two counts of Possession of a Controlled
Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Failure to
Signal. This appeal followed.
appeal, Wright's counsel
("Counsel") filed a brief and a motion to withdraw
under Supreme Court Rule 26(c). Counsel asserts that, based
upon a complete and careful examination of the record, there
are no arguably appealable issues. Counsel informed Wright of
the provisions of Rule 26(c) and provided Wright with a copy
of the motion to withdraw and the accompanying brief.
Counsel also informed Wright of his right to identify any
points he wished this Court to consider on appeal. Wright has
raised points for this Court's consideration. The State
has responded to the Rule 26(c) ...