ROBERT P. CAULK, Defendant Below, Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.
Submitted: January 23, 2019
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID Nos.
N1705002474 & N1705004722
STRINE, Chief Justice; VALIHURA and TRAYNOR, Justices.
L. VALIHURA, JUSTICE
consideration of the appellant's Supreme Court Rule 26(c)
brief, the State's response, and the record on appeal, it
appears to the Court that:
January 8, 2018, after a two-day bench trial, the Superior
Court found the appellant, Robert P. Caulk, guilty of three
counts of Robbery in the First Degree and one count of
Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a
Felony ("PDWDCF") and not guilty of two counts of
PDWDCF. After granting the State's motion to declare
Caulk a habitual offender under 11 Del. C. §
4214(d), the Superior Court sentenced Caulk as follows: (i)
for two counts of Robbery in the First Degree, as a habitual
offender, twenty-five years of Level V incarceration for each
count, with credit for time served; (ii) for one count of
Robbery in the First Degree, fifteen years of Level V
incarceration, suspended after three years for decreasing
levels of supervision; and (iii) for PDWDCF, two years of
Level V incarceration. This is Caulk's direct appeal.
charges arose from robberies of the same 7-Eleven in
Wilmington on April 19, 2017, May 4, 2017, and May 8, 2017.
At trial, the 7-Eleven clerk testified, through an
interpreter, about all three robberies. The clerk testified
that, on April 19, 2017, a man tried to buy something with
his card, but the card did not work. The man told the clerk
to go ahead and ring up another customer. After the clerk
finished dealing with the other customer and the customer
left, the man pulled a knife out and told the clerk to open
the register and give him the money. The clerk opened one of
the registers and gave the money in it as well as lottery
tickets or cigarettes to the man. The robbery was reported to
clerk testified that, on May 4, 2017, the same man came up to
him from behind, pressed a knife against his back, and
demanded money from the register. The man took money from the
register and also took cigarettes. Based on a review of the
video footage of both robberies and other investigation, the
police determined that Caulk was the primary suspect. The
clerk identified the photograph of Caulk as the person who
robbed the store on April 19th and May
4th. A warrant was issued for Caulk's arrest.
May 8, 2017, Caulk returned to the 7-Eleven. The clerk
immediately recognized him as the person who had previously
robbed the store and testified that he showed him something
black that the clerk thought might be the knife. He took
money from the register as well as cigarettes and lottery
tickets. The clerk identified Caulk again in a photograph
array. A customer who was at the store during the robbery
identified Caulk as the robber at trial.
Caulk was arrested not long after the third robbery.
According to one of the testifying police officers, Caulk was
arrested in a stained sweatshirt and pants that matched the
clothes of the man in the video of the last 7-Eleven robbery.
At the time of his arrest, Caulk was carrying money,
cigarettes, a screwdriver, and a cell phone.
police obtained search warrants to search the phone and
Caulk's house. An analysis of cell tower data showed that
the cell phone taken from Caulk was in use near the 7-Eleven
around the time of the May 4th and May
8th robberies. During the search of the house, the
police found a blue hooded sweatshirt that appeared similar
to the clothing of the man in the video of the April
19th and May 4throbberies. A set of
latent fingerprints collected from an interior door at the
7-Eleven did not match Caulk's fingerprints. The State
played surveillance video of all three robberies at trial.
the conclusion of the State's case, Caulk moved for a
judgment of acquittal as to the May 8th robbery,
arguing that the clerk did not expressly testify that Caulk
had a weapon. The Superior Court denied the motion. Caulk
also asked for the Superior Court to consider Robbery in the
Second Degree as a lesser included offense for the May
8th robbery, which the Superior Court agreed to
do. The Superior Court dismissed Aggravated Menacing charges
and related weapon charges and stated that it would consider
Aggravated Menacing as a lesser included offense of the May
Caulk exercised his right not to testify and did not submit
any evidence. The Superior Court found Caulk guilty of three
counts of Robbery in the First Degree and one count of PDWDCF
as to the April 19th robbery. The Superior Court
found Caulk not guilty of PDWDCF as to the May 4th
and May 8th robberies. This appeal followed.
appeal, Caulk's appellate 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 Caulk of the provisions
of Rule 26(c) ...