O'Connell, Esq., Elliot M. Margules, Esq.
M. Davis, Judge
the Court's decision on whether the Court should find
Devonte Dorsett guilty, but mentally ill ("GBMI")
under 11 Del. C. § 401(b) and sentence Mr.
Dorsett under 11 Del. C. § 408(a). After
considering all the evidence, testimony and submissions, the
Court finds that it is not satisfied, under the facts
presented, that Mr. Dorsett had a mental illness at the time
of the offenses which would support a GBMI plea.
24, 2018, Mr. Dorsett plead guilty to Murder Second Degree,
Robbery First Degree and two counts of Possession of a
Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. The Court ordered
a pre-sentence investigation. At the time of the plea, Mr.
Dorsett maintained that the facts of his case supported a
finding that he was GBMI under 11 Del. C. §
401(b). Mr. Dorsett is seeking sentencing under 11 Del.
C. § 408(b).
to the criminal file in this case, the victim was found lying
face down on the floor of his store, Lancaster Market,
bleeding from a gunshot wound to the back of his head shortly
after 1:00 p.m. on January 9, 2017. Unknown persons flagged
down an emergency medical services unit and Wilmington Police
Department ("WPD") officers arrived on scene. The
WPD officers found the paramedics performing CPR on the
victim. The paramedics transported the victim to the
hospital. After arriving at the hospital, the victim was
at the store indicated a robbery gone awry, with the cash
drawer open and change scattered on the counter and floor.
WPD officers located a spent .45 caliber shell casing and
projectile. During the course of the resulting investigation,
a witness was located and two suspects: Mr. Dorsett and a
minor were identified.
Court had previously issued a capias for the arrest of Mr.
Dorsett due to a purported violation of probation. Officers
from Operation Safe Streets located Mr. Dorsett the day after
the robbery and, after a brief foot chase, Mr. Dorsett was
taken into custody. Officers found a loaded .45 caliber Glock
30 semi-automatic pistol, with 1 round in the chamber, and an
extended magazine with 18 additional rounds on Mr. Dorsett.
Mr. Dorsett, who was on probation for a conviction for
Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, was prohibited from
possessing a firearm.
officers located and arrested the minor. The minor agreed to
speak to a WPD detective. During the interview, the minor
stated that he and Mr. Dorsett had entered the store and
demanded that the victim give them the money from the
register. According to the minor, Mr. Dorsett and the victim
struggled for control of Mr. Dorsett's gun. During the
struggle, Mr. Dorsett shot the victim in the head.
records indicated that Mr. Dorsett was given his Miranda
rights and made a statement. In that statement, Mr. Dorsett
admitted to shooting the victim, claiming it was an accident
that happened during a struggle while the robbery was going
bad. Mr. Dorsett has also made incriminating statements
regarding his possession of the firearm. Mr. Dorsett was
intoxicated at the time of the offenses.
"trier of facts" makes the determinations relating
to GBMI. Because Mr. Dorsett desires to enter a
plea of GMBI, the Court is the trier of fact. The Court
considered the following:
• Letter, dated October 10, 2018, from Kevin
O'Connell, Esq., to the Honorable Eric M. Davis;
• The treatment records of Mr. Dorsett provided with the
Letter, dated October 10, 2018, from Kevin O'Connell,
Esq., to the Honorable Eric M. Davis;
• The Report, dated June 5, 2018, of John K. Northrop,
• The Report of Joseph H. Wright, Ph.D.;
• The Report of Douglas S. Roberts, Psy.D.;
• The testimony of Dr. Northrup and Dr. Roberts
presented by the parties at the hearing (the
"Hearing") held by the Court on December 19, 2018.
The witnesses provided direct testimony and were subject to
cross-examination and questions from the Court.
• The Defendant, Devonte Dorsett's Opening
Memorandum in Support of a Finding that He is Guilty But
Mentally Ill. filed by Mr. Dorsett;
• The Letter, dated February 7, 2019, from Daniel B.
McBride, DAG, to the Honorable Eric M. Davis;
• The Letter, dated February 20, 2019, from Kevin
O'Connell, Esq., and Elliot M. Margules, Esq., to the