ANDRE L. RAMSEY, Defendant Below-Appellant,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff-Below-Appellee.
Submitted: February 7, 2019
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; VAUGHN and SEITZ, Justices.
T. Vaughn, Jr. Justice.
consideration of the appellant's opening brief, the
State's motion to affirm, and the record below, it
appears to the Court that:
appellant, Andre L. Ramsey, appeals a sentence the Superior
Court imposed upon him for violating the terms of his
probation and conditional release. The State has moved to
affirm the Superior Court's judgment on the ground that
it is manifest on the face of Ramsey's opening brief that
the appeal is without merit. We agree and affirm.
record reflects that Ramsey pleaded guilty to three charges
in order to resolve two pending cases on January 17, 2013.
Specifically, Ramsey pleaded guilty to identity theft,
possession of a firearm by a person prohibited
("PFBPP"), and drug dealing. In exchange for his
plea, the State dismissed eleven additional charges. The
Superior Court declared Ramsey to be a habitual offender
under 11 Del. C. § 4214(a) and sentenced him as
follows: (i) for identity theft, two years of Level V
incarceration, with credit for time served and no probation
to follow; (ii) for PFBPP, five years of Level V
incarceration with no probation to follow; and (iii) for drug
dealing, eight years of Level V incarceration, suspended for
probation with decreasing levels of supervision. The Superior
Court ordered the sentences be served consecutively.
Ramsey appealed his convictions and this Court affirmed on
direct appeal. Thereafter, the record reflects that
Ramsey petitioned the Superior Court to modify or correct his
sentence on several occasions. On December 12, 2017, the
Superior Court modified Ramsey's sentence to give the
Department of Correction ("DOC") discretion to
determine the appropriate Level IV placement for Ramsey.
April of 2018, DOC released Ramsey to Level IV home
confinement. In June of 2018, Ramsey was arrested and charged
with four counts of misdemeanor theft. On August 10, 2018,
Ramsey pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor theft
and the State entered a nolle prose qui on the
fourth count. The Superior Court held a violation of
probation ("VOP") hearing on August 15, 2018. The
Superior Court found Ramsey in violation of probation for his
drug dealing conviction and in violation of conditional
release for his PFBPP conviction. In connection with the
revocation of Ramsey's conditional release, the Superior
Court ordered that he surrender all previously earned good
time and serve the balance of the Level V sentence from which
he was released. On the VOP, the Superior Court sentenced
Ramsey to eight years of Level V incarceration with credit
for time served, suspended for probation at decreasing levels
of supervision. This appeal followed.
Ramsey raises two issues on appeal. First, he contends he was
not on conditional release when he picked up the new criminal
charges. Second, Ramsey argues the Superior Court abused its
discretion by rescinding his "statutory good time"
credit when it sentenced him for violating conditional
release. We find no merit to either claim.
Conditional release occurs when an inmate is released from
incarceration into the community "by reason of
diminution of the period of confinement through merit and
good behavior credits." According to DOC's Offender
Status Sheet, Ramsey's Maximum Expiration Date
("MED") for his Level V sentence for identity theft
and PFBPP is July 13, 2019. DOC released Ramsey early due to
his accumulation of good time credits under 11 Del.
C. § 4383. Ramsey did not have probation associated
with his Level V sentence for identity theft and PFBPP.
Accordingly, when DOC released Ramsey in April of 2018 to
Level IV home confinement, he was on conditional release
until his MED. He was still on conditional release when he
was arrested on new charges two months later.
Ramsey also contends that the Superior Court improperly
ordered he forfeit his "statutory days" when it
sentenced him for violating the terms of his conditional
release. Ramsey correctly observes that 11 Del.
C. § 4381 provides good time may be earned for an
inmate's good behavior ("statutory good time")
and for an inmate's participation in certain programs
("meritorious good time"). Ramsey argues only his
meritorious good time was forfeited when he violated the
terms of his conditional release. The Court's review of a
sentence is extremely limited and its inquiry is generally
limited to determining whether the sentence falls within the
statutory limits prescribed by the legislature. The General
Assembly has decreed that any person under DOC custody at
Level IV or V who is convicted of a crime during the term of
the sentence must forfeit "all good time
accumulated to the date of the criminal
act." Ramsey was in DOC custody at Level IV home
confinement when he committed new crimes. Accordingly, we do
not find the sentence imposed by the Superior Court was an
abuse of discretion.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the ...