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. Williams

Superior Court of Delaware

April 8, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID M. WILLIAMS, Defendant.

          Submitted: March 12, 2019

          Zachary Rosen, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          David M. Williams, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, pro se. PARKER, Commissioner

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

          Lynne M. Parker Commissioner

         This 8th day of April 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

         1. On August 25, 1999, Defendant David M. Williams was convicted of two counts of Attempted Burglary Second Degree and other related charges. Before sentencing, the Superior Court granted the State's habitual offender petition with respect to both Attempted Burglary counts.

         2. Under the habitual offender statute existing at the time of Williams' convictions and sentence, [1] Williams was facing a minimum-mandatory sentence of 16 years for the Attempted Burglary charges. At sentencing, on October 8, 1999, Williams was sentenced to 24 years for those charges, along with additional years of incarceration for the other charges for which he was not declared a habitual criminal.

         3. As of March 2015, Williams had filed ten motions for postconviction relief pursuant to Rule 61[2]

         4. A new version of the habitual offender statute was enacted in 2016.[3] The new habitual offender statute permitted a defendant sentenced as a habitual offender before July 19, 2016 to become eligible to petition the Superior Court for a sentence modification under certain circumstances under the newly enacted 11 Del. C. § 4214(f). A habitual offender sentenced before July 19, 2016 would be eligible to petition the Superior Court for a sentence modification if the defendant had received the minimum-mandatory sentence required to be imposed under the old version of the statute and additional conditions were also met.[4]

         5. All requests for sentence modifications under the newly enacted 11 Del. C. § 4214(f) are governed by Superior Court Special Rule of Procedure 2017-1.

         6. In 2017, Williams filed a Request for Certificate of Eligibility under the newly enacted 11 Del. C. § 4214(f). Williams' request was denied by the Superior Court on June 8, 2018.[5] Williams was determined not to be eligible for a sentence modification since his sentence under the habitual offender statute which existed at the time of his sentencing exceeded the minimum sentence mandated to be imposed.[6]

         7. In denying his request for a certificate of eligibility, the Superior Court explained that Williams faced a 16-year minimum-mandatory sentence under the habitual offender statute which existed at the time he was sentenced. He faced a minimum sentence of 8 years for each of the two counts of the attempted burglary charges, for a minimum sentence of 16 years.[7]

         8. In Williams' case, the sentencing judge chose to exceed the minimum sentence. The sentencing judge exercised his discretion and sentenced Williams to a total of 24 years, 12 years on each of the two counts of the attempted burglary charges. Because the sentencing judge exercised his discretion and exceeded the 16-year minimum mandatory sentence by an additional eight-years above that which was required, Williams was not eligible for sentence review under Section 4214(f).[8] Accordingly, the Superior Court denied Williams' Request for a Certificate of Eligibility.[9]

         9. Apparently, Williams' counsel and other counsel in the Office of Defense Services have repeatedly explained to Williams that Section 4214(f) is inapplicable to his case because it was intended to provide relief only when the Superior Court sentenced the defendant to the minimum-mandatory sentence. By so doing, the question was left open that the Superior Court may have wanted to sentence the defendant to a lesser number of years but was prohibited from doing so by the minimum-mandatory sentence mandate.[10] Williams, however, was not in that category of defendants. Having been sentenced above the minimum-mandatory sentence required by the then-existing law, it was clear that the Superior ...


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.