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. Rogers

Superior Court of Delaware

July 26, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
INNOCENT E. ROGERS, Defendant.

          Submitted: June 28, 2019

          Periann Doko, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Innocent E. Rogers, Sussex Correctional Institution, Georgetown, Delaware, pro se.

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

          Lynne M. Parker Commissioner

         This 26th day of July 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

         BACKGROUND, FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         1. On February 21, 2017, Defendant Innocent Rogers was arrested for drug dealing and related drug offenses. During the course of the investigation, police recovered a cell phone and obtained a search warrant to examine it. A forensic examination of the phone uncovered multiple photos of underage children engaged in sexual acts. A subsequent search warrant was secured to examine the phone further for evidence of child pornography.

         2. On March 16, 2017, New Castle County police executed a search warrant for additional digital devices at Rogers' residence. A Toshiba laptop was examined and revealed several keywords and search terms indicative of child pornography. In addition, file names and fragments of child exploitation material were noted in the system artifacts. Several file sharing programs were also located on both the laptop and cell phone. In total, there were 29 videos of child exploitive material and 44 images of child exploitive material dating as far back as 2014 found on these devices.[1]

         3. On May 15, 2017, Rogers was indicted on twenty-five counts of Dealing in Child Pornography. Each of these counts carried a minimum-mandatory sentence of two years of incarceration and a maximum sentence of twenty-five years of incarceration. If convicted of all counts, Rogers faced a minimum-mandatory sentence of 50 years of incarceration and a maximum sentence of over 600 years of incarceration.

         4. On November 7, 2017, Rogers entered a no-contest plea to one count of Dealing in Child Pornography and three counts of Possession of Child Pornography. Rogers acknowledged that as part of the plea agreement he was facing a two-year minimum-mandatory prison term.[2] After accepting the plea, the Superior Court revoked Rogers' bail, deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation.

         5. Before sentencing, Rogers sought to withdraw his plea. On March 23, 2018, the Superior Court denied Rogers' motion to withdraw his plea[3] and sentenced him to a total period of thirty-four years at Level V incarceration, suspended after serving two years in prison, followed by a period of probation.

         6. Rogers filed a direct appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.[4] On appeal, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court.[5] On appeal, Rogers claimed that his counsel was ineffective and that the Superior Court abused its discretion by denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The Superior Court would not consider Rogers' ineffective assistance of counsel claim on direct appeal.[6]

         7. As to Rogers' claim that the Superior Court abused its discretion by denying his motion to withdraw his plea, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the record unequivocally established that Rogers entered into his plea voluntarily and that he was not operating under any misapprehension or mistake as to his legal rights.[7] The Delaware Supreme Court concluded that under the circumstances of this case, the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Rogers' motion to withdraw his plea.[8]

         ROGERS' RULE 61 MOTION

         8. Rogers filed the subject Rule 61 motion on January 18, 2019. In the subject motion, Rogers raises three claims: 1) trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress; 2) the search warrant was based on stale information, and therefore, invalid; and 3) the Superior Court erred in denying his motion to withdraw guilty plea.

         9. Before making a recommendation, the record was enlarged and Rogers' trial counsel was directed to submit an Affidavit responding to Rogers' ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Thereafter, the State filed a response to the motion. Rogers was given the opportunity to file a reply thereto.[9]

         10. For the reasons discussed below, two of the claims raised in Rogers' Rule 61 motion are procedurally barred, all of the claims raised in the motion were waived, and all of the claims are without merit.

         11. It is noted that Rogers entered into a no-contest plea. For all intents and purposes, a no-contest plea operates as a guilty plea.[10]

         Two of Rogers' Claims Are Procedurally Barred

         12. Prior to addressing the substantive merits of any claim for postconviction relief the court must first determine whether the defendant has met the procedural requirements of Superior Court Criminal Rule 61.[11] If a procedural bar exists, then the claim is barred, and the Court should not consider the merits of the postconviction claim.[12]

         13. Superior Court Criminal Rule 6l(i)(4) precludes Rogers from raising any claims which were already raised and adjudicated in some fashion on Rogers' direct appeal. Moreover, Superior Court Criminal Rule 6l(i)(3) requires that Rogers raise his claims, with the exception of his ineffective assistance of counsel contentions, on direct appeal.[13] Rogers' ineffective assistance of counsel claims are not procedurally barred by Rule 6l(i)(3) because a Rule 61 motion is the appropriate vehicle for raising these claims.[14]

         14. In the subject motion, Rogers claims that the search warrant was based on stale information, and therefore, invalid (Claim Two) and that the Superior Court erred in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea (Claim Three) are procedurally barred.

         15. As to Rogers' claim that the Superior Court erred in denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea, the Delaware Supreme Court has already held on direct appeal that the record unequivocally established that Rogers entered his plea voluntarily and that he was not operating under any misapprehension or mistake as to his legal rights.[15] The Delaware Supreme Court already held that under the facts and circumstances of this case, the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Rogers' motion to withdraw his plea.[16] This claim is therefore procedurally barred as previously adjudicated.

         16. As to Rogers' claim that the search warrant was stale and, therefore, invalid, Rogers was required by Rule 6l(i)(3) to raise this claim on direct appeal but failed to do so.

         17. Rogers had time and opportunity to raise any issue he desired to on direct appeal. Rogers was aware of, had time to, and the opportunity to raise this claim on direct appeal but failed to do so. Rogers has not established any prejudice to his rights and/or cause for relief. Having been provided with a full and fair opportunity to present any issue desired to be raised on direct ...


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.