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State v. Hardy

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

July 10, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
RICKY D. HARDY, Defendant.

          Submitted: July 10, 2019

          Written Decision: July 12, 2019

         Defendant's Motion for Relief from Prejudicial Joinder. Denied.

          Cari A. Chapman, Esquire and Lynn A. Kelly, Esquire, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware; attorneys for the State.

          Joseph A. Hurley, Esquire, Wilmington, Delaware; attorney for the Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. William L. Witham, Jr. Resident Judge.

         Upon the consideration of the Defendant Ricky Hardy's (hereinafter "Defendant"), Motion for Relief from Prejudicial Joinder pursuant to Superior Court Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 14 (hereinafter "Rule 14")[1] the Court issued its decision from the bench and DENIED Defendant's motion.

         This is the Court's written order to supplement its bench decision. After considering the parties' written and oral arguments, and the record in its entirety, it appears to the Court that:

         1. On October 12, 2018, Defendant was attending a football game at Caesar Rodney High School located in Camden, Delaware.

         2. During the game, a sixteen-year-old female, identified as M.C., and her mother notified a law enforcement officer that M.C. had been inappropriately touched on her buttocks in the concession line by a black male wearing a white hat, despite M.C.'s repeated commands to the individual to stop. M.C. also reported that she observed the black male take his hands out of his pockets and touch other girls standing in the concession line, after he had moved away from her position in line.

         3. Based on her interaction with the individual and her observations, M.C. concluded that the inappropriate contact could not be accidental and decided to take a picture of the individual with her cellular telephone. Utilizing that photograph, law enforcement was able to locate Defendant, an African-American male, on the school grounds and confirm that he matched the individual in the photograph. Defendant was subsequently escorted off school property and barred from returning to the school.

         4. After Defendant had departed, law enforcement received another report that a fourteen-year-old female, identified as S.V., was also touched inappropriately by a black male wearing a white hat. S.V. had also taken a picture of the individual that turned out to match Defendant's description.

         5. As a result of M.C. and S.V.'s allegations, Defendant was charged with four counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree, a felony, in violation of 11 Del. C. § 768.

         6. Defendant filed his Motion to Sever the four counts on April 1, 2019. The State's response, in opposition, was filed on June 26, 2019. Oral arguments were held on July 10, 2019 and the Court issued its decision from the bench, denying Defendant's motion. Defendant's trial is presently scheduled for July 15, 2019.

         7. After the State filed its response, Defendant filed an "Opening Brief in Support of His Motion to Sever Charges" on July 1, 2019.[2]

         8. Then again, on July 10, 2019, Defendant filed an additional three filings.[3]First, Defendant filed a "Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Opposition of Introduction of 404 Material"[4] Second, Defendant filed a "[ ] Reply to State's Response Regarding the Issuance of Severance of Counts of the Indictment."[5] And finally, Defendant filed a "Motion to Strike Prejudicial Material."[6]

         9. Defendant's Motion to Sever seeks to sever Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment related to the alleged incident involving M.C. from Counts 3 and 4 of the indictment related to the alleged incident involving S.V.[7] ...


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