United States District Court, D. Delaware
Petitioner. Pro se Petitioner.
J. Vella, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of
Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for respondents.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“Petition”)
filed by Petitioner Rashid Roy (“Petitioner”).
(D.I. 2, 8). The State filed an Answer in opposition. (D.I.
12). For the reasons discussed, the Court will deny the
facts leading to Petitioner's arrest and conviction are
set forth below, as summarized by the Delaware Supreme Court
in Petitioner's direct appeal:
On February 17, 2010, at about 5:00 a.m., Alvin Pauls
(“Pauls”) was getting dressed inside his
apartment at the Compton Apartments complex when he heard a
scream. Approximately ten minutes later, Pauls left his
apartment and went onto Seventh Street in Wilmington.
Pauls heard a male voice call out to him, “who are
you?” from across the street. As Pauls turned to the
direction of the sound, he saw a man standing over a second
person who was lying in the street. Pauls went to his
automobile and called 911. Pauls told the 911 operator that
he believed he heard a woman screaming and had seen a man
standing over a body in the street.
At 5:17 a.m., a dispatch went out directing City of
Wilmington police officers to respond to an assault in
progress at the intersection of Seventh and Walnut Streets.
Wilmington Police Lieutenant Matthew Kurten (“Lt.
Kurten”), in full uniform but driving a discreetly
marked Ford Crown Victoria, was the first officer to reach
the scene. Lt. Kurten saw only one person on the darkened
street- a male later identified to be [Petitioner]-wearing a
camouflage coat and walking on the sidewalk near St.
Michael's Day Care. At approximately 5:19 a.m., Lt.
Kurten radioed the police dispatch center about [Petitioner]
and pulled his car up next to him. [Petitioner] abruptly put
his hand up against his face, obscuring the officer's
view, and began walking in the opposite direction.
As Lt. Kurten began to back his car up to follow
[Petitioner], he saw two fully-marked patrol cars pull onto
the block from the direction where [Petitioner] was walking.
The first of those marked vehicles was driven by Officer
Patrick Bartolo (“Officer Bartolo”). Officer
Bartolo, who had heard Lt. Kurten's earlier radio
transmission, exited his car, walked toward [Petitioner], and
asked [Petitioner] to approach his cruiser. When [Petitioner]
hesitated, Officer Bartolo placed his hand on [Petitioner]
and guided him toward the police car.
As Officer Bartolo and [Petitioner] were approaching the
police vehicle, Wilmington Police Officers Timothy
O'Connor and Jamaine Crawford arrived and placed
[Petitioner] in handcuffs. Officer Crawford asked
[Petitioner] if he had any weapons in his possession.
[Petitioner] responded that he had a knife. Officer
O'Connor then took a hat from [Petitioner]'s hand and
discovered a knife inside the hat. After Officer O'Connor
removed his hands from [Petitioner's] clothing, he
noticed that they were slippery.
When Officer O'Connor shined a flashlight on his own
hands, he noticed that his hands were covered in blood. The
light revealed that [Petitioner's] hands were also
bloody. At the same time this was happening, another officer
radioed that she had found an unconscious black male-the
victim, Davelle Neal. [Petitioner] was then placed in Officer
Bartolo's patrol car and transported to the police
In later statements made to the police, [Petitioner]
maintained that he and Neal had been robbed by unknown
individuals who fled in an unknown car in an unknown
direction. [Petitioner] claims to have wrestled the knife
away from the assailants, wrapped it in a scarf, and put it
in his hat. [Petitioner] also told the police that he dragged
Neal out of the street to help him.
The clothing that [Petitioner] was wearing on the night of
the incident was subjected to forensic analysis. Testing
revealed that the blood on [Petitioner's] clothes and on
the knife was consistent with the blood of Neal. At trial, a
blood spatter analyst opined that the stains found on
[Petitioner's] clothing and in the vicinity of Neal's
body were inconsistent with [Petitioner's] statements and
were more consistent with [Petitioner] and Neal engaging in a
struggle. The police later obtained a video of the crime from
motion-activated cameras. Based on the clothing he was
wearing that night, [Petitioner] was identified in the video
as the one who killed Neal.
Roy v. State, 62 A.3d 1183, 1185-86 (Del. 2012).
2010, Petitioner was indicted and charged with first degree
murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission
of a felony (“PFDCF”), possession of a deadly
weapon by a person prohibited (“PDWBPP”), third
degree assault, and terroristic threatening. Id. at
1186. In April 2011, a Delaware Superior Court jury found
Petitioner guilty of first degree murder, PDWDCF, third
degree assault, and terroristic threatening; the State
entered a nolle prosequi on the severed charge of
PDWBPP. Id. The Superior Court sentenced Petitioner
to life imprisonment on the murder conviction, and on the
remaining convictions, to an aggregate of twelve years at
Level V incarceration, suspended after eleven years for
decreasing levels of supervision. See State v. Roy,
2016 WL 1621589, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct. Apr. 21, 2016). The
Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's convictions
and sentences. See Roy, 62 A.3d at 1192.
2013, at Petitioner's request, the Superior Court
appointed counsel to represent Petitioner in a Rule 61
proceeding. (D.I. 12 at 4). In November 2014, post-conviction
counsel filed in the Delaware Superior Court a motion for
post-conviction relief pursuant to Delaware Superior Court
Criminal Rule 61 (“Rule 61 motion”). See
State v. Roy, 2015 WL 5000990, at *1 (Del. Super. Ct.
July 31, 2015). The Superior Court denied the Rule 61 motion
in July 2015. See id. Petitioner appealed that
decision, but voluntarily dismissed his appeal on November
30, 2015. (D.I. 12 at 4; D.I. 15-6 at 2).
February 2016, Petitioner filed a second Rule 61 motion.
See Roy, 2016 WL 1621589, at *1. The Superior Court
summarily dismissed the second Rule 61 motion as procedurally
barred in April 2016. Id. at *5. Petitioner did not
appeal that decision.
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