Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Stanley

Superior Court of Delaware

January 22, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHONY J. STANLEY, Defendant.

          Submitted: October 16, 2018

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

          Barzilai K. Axelrod, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Anthony J. Stanley, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington, Delaware, pro se.

         This 22nd day of January 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

         BACKGROUND, FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         1. On August 10, 2016, Defendant Anthony J. Stanley was arrested on Case No. 1607009547. Defendant Stanley, along with six co-defendants entered a Wawa and while some engaged in a physical altercation with the cashier, others stole merchandise from the store. The entire incident was captured on video surveillance. Defendant Stanley was indicted for Robbery Second Degree, Conspiracy Second Degree, and Offensive Touching.

         2. On September 27, 2016, Defendant Stanley was arrested on Case No. 1609017759. In that case, Defendant Stanley confronted a victim. The victim concerned about his safety, left in a vehicle and Stanley followed. Stanley drove next to the victim's vehicle and his co-defendant, his front seat passenger, Walike Parham shot at the victim with a firearm from the vehicle. After the shooting, Stanley drove off and fled the scene with his co-defendant.

         3. As a result of the September 27, 2016 incident, on November 21, 2016, Stanley was indicted on two counts of Reckless Endangering First Degree, two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony ("PFDCF"), one count of Conspiracy Second Degree and one count of Criminal Mischief under $1000.

         4. As these two cases remained pending, on January 23, 2017, Stanley was arrested on Case No. 1707013434. Stanley showed up to buy a cell phone from the victim. Instead of purchasing the phone, Stanley tried to rob the victim with what would turn out to be a BB gun. A scuffle occurred, the victim wrestled the gun away, and Stanley fled. Stanley was facing Attempted Robbery First Degree and related charges when this case was resolved pre-indictment as part of a global plea.

         5. In Case No. 1609017759, the car shooting case, Stanley failed to appear at a final case review on April 17, 2017, and a capias was issued for his arrest. Stanley again failed to appear for his scheduled trial date on May 2, 2017. Another capias was issued for his arrest. Four months later, on September 19, 2017, the outstanding capiases were returned.

         6. On October 16, 2017, Stanley entered into a global plea to resolve all three ofthese cases. He pled guilty to one count of Reckless Endangering First Degree, one count of PFDCF, two counts of Conspiracy Second Degree, one count of Attempted Robbery Second Degree, and one count of Robbery Second Degree. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed that at sentencing it would recommend not more than five years ofunsuspended Level V time.[1] Also as part of the plea agreement, all the remaining charges were dismissed.[2]

         7. If Stanley had proceeded to trial on all the charges in these three cases, he was facing a minimum sentence of six years prison time (three years for each of the PFDCF charges) and a maximum sentence of well-over 44 years of Level V incarceration. On the charges to which he pled guilty, Stanley was facing a minimum sentence ofthree years and a maximum sentence of 44 years of Level V incarceration.

         8. As part of the plea agreement, the parties jointly requested that a pre-sentence investigation be conducted prior to sentencing.[3]

         9. On January 5, 2018, following a pre-sentence investigation, Stanley was sentenced. Although as part of the plea the State recommended that Stanley be sentenced to five years of unsuspended Level V time, after Stanley's counsel's presentation and Stanley's allocution expressing regret, remorse and apologies, the court downwardly departed from that recommendation and sentenced Stanley to a total of four years of unsuspended Level V time. Stanley was sentenced to three years of unsuspended Level V time, the minimum mandatory, on the PFDCF charge, and six months of unsuspended Level V time for each of the two robberies. Following the four years of unsuspended Level V time, Stanley was sentenced to decreasing levels of probation.

         10. Stanley did not file a direct appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.

         11. On March 22, 2018, Stanley filed a motion for reduction of sentence. In that motion, he requested that his Level V time be reduced from four years to three years. By Order dated April 17, 2018, the Superior Court denied the motion on the basis, inter alia, that the sentence was imposed pursuant to the Plea Agreement agreed to by Stanley and because the sentence was appropriate for all the reasons stated at the time of sentencing.[4]

         STANLEY'S RULE 61 MOTION

         12. Stanley filed the subject Rule 61 motion on June 11, 2018.

         13. Following the filing of Stanley's Rule 61 motion, the record was enlarged and Stanley's trial counsel submitted an Affidavit responding to Stanley's ineffective assistance of counsel claims. The State thereafter filed a response and Stanley filed a reply thereto.[5]

         14. In the subject motion, Stanley raises two claims. The first is a claim that his counsel was ineffective in his handling of the plea and in his handling of the sentencing. The second claim is that there was no physical evidence to convict him of the PFDCF charge and no weapons were found.

         15. For the reasons discussed below, Stanley's second claim is procedurally barred, both of his claims were waived, and both are without merit.

         Stanley's Claim of Lack of Physical Evidence is Procedurally Barred

         16. Prior to addressing the substantive merits of any claim for postconviction relief the court must first determine whether the defendant has met the procedural requirements of Superior Court Criminal Rule 61.[6] If a procedural bar exists, then the claim is barred, and the court should not consider the merits of the postconviction claim.[7]

         17. Superior Court Criminal Rule 61(i)(3) requires that Stanley raise his claims, with the exception of his ineffective assistance of counsel contentions, on direct appeal.[8] Stanley's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is not procedurally barred by Rule 61(i)(3) because a Rule 61 motion is the appropriate vehicle for raising these claims.[9]

         18. The claim raised herein that there was no physical evidence to convict him of the PFDCF charge and no weapons found is procedurally barred for the failure to raise this claim on direct appeal.

         Stanley's Claims Were Waived Upon Entry of His Guilty Plea

         19. In addition to Stanley's second claim being procedurally barred, Stanley's claims were also waived upon the entry of his guilty plea.

         20. A defendant is bound by his answers on the plea form and by his testimony at the plea colloquy in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.[10] In the subject actions, the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form, Plea Agreement and plea colloquy reveal that Stanley knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently entered a guilty plea to the charges for which he pled guilty and was sentenced.

         21. At the time of the plea, Stanley's counsel represented to the court that he had reviewed the plea agreement and Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form with Stanley.11 He represented that they had discussed the nature of the charges and possible defenses thereto and also discussed the range ofpenalties that Stanley was facing.12Counsel represented that Stanley understood that Stanley was subject to at least a three-year minimum mandatory Level V prison term on the PFDCF charge, and that while the State was agreeing to cap its sentencing recommendation to five years at Level V, Stanley understood that the court could impose up to 44 years of incarceration, if it chose to do so.[13]

         22. Stanley personally represented to the court that he had read and understood the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form and the plea agreement.[14] Stanley represented that nobody was forcing him to enter his plea.[15] Stanley represented that he was freely and voluntarily pleading guilty to the charges listed in the plea agreement. Stanley represented that he was not being threatened or forced to do so by his attorney, by the State, or by anyone else.[16] Stanley represented to the court that he understood the charges and the potential penalties he was facing, and that he was pleading guilty to the charges set forth in the plea agreement.[17]

         23. During the plea colloquy and in the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form, Stanley represented that he read and understood that by pleading guilty he was waiving his constitutional rights: to have a speedy trial by jury; to be presumed innocent until the State proves each and every part of the charges against him beyond a reasonable doubt; to hear and question the witnesses against him; to present evidence in his defense; to testify or not testify; and to appeal, if convicted.[18]

         24 Stanley represented that he understood that he was waiving each and every one of those rights by pleading guilty.[19]

         25. Stanley represented to the court that he had not received any promises by anyone as to what his sentence would be. Stanley represented that he was satisfied with his counsel's representation, that his counsel fully advised him of his rights, and that he understood the consequences of entering into his guilty plea.[20]

         26. Stanley admitted his guilt to the charges for which he pled guilty, including the PFDCF charge.[21] Only after finding that Stanley's plea was entered into knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily, did the Superior Court accept Stanley's plea.[22]

         27. Stanley has not presented any clear, contrary evidence to call into question his prior testimony at the plea colloquy, Plea Agreement or answers on the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form. As confirmed by the plea colloquy, Plea Agreement and Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form, Stanley entered his plea knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily.

         28. Since Stanley's plea was entered into voluntarily, intelligently and knowingly, Stanley waived his right to challenge any alleged errors, deficiencies or defects occurring prior to the entry of his plea, even those of constitutional proportions.[23] Stanley's valid guilty plea waived any right to test the strength of the State's evidence, the right to hear and question witnesses and to present evidence in his own defense, and the right to appeal, if convicted.

         29. Stanley's claims presented herein, including those alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, stem from allegations of defects, errors, misconduct and deficiencies which existed at the time of the entry of the plea. Stanley's claims were waived when he knowingly, freely and intelligently entered his plea.[24]

         Stanley's Claims Are Without Merit

         30. In addition Stanley's claims being procedurally barred and waived, all of Stanley's claims are also without merit.

         Insufficiency of Evidence Claim is Without Merit

         31. As to Stanley's second claim, that there was no physical evidence and that he did not commit the PFDCF charge because no weapons were found, Stanley could have rejected the plea agreement and elected to go to trial and put the State to its ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.