June 5, 2019
Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, ID. No.
1710011753 (N), Upon appeal from the Superior Court.
M. Walker, Esquire, Assistant Public Defender, Wilmington,
Delaware, for Appellant, Richard Cushner.
L. Arban, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Wilmington,
Delaware, for Appellee, State of Delaware.
VAUGHN, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
Superior Court jury convicted the appellant, Richard Cushner,
of Burglary in the Third Degree and two counts of Criminal
Mischief. Cushner contends on appeal that the Superior Court
erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal because
the only evidence connecting him to the crimes was a
handprint that was discovered on the outside of a storage
trailer he allegedly burglarized. Relying on our case of
Monroe v. State , Cushner contends that the motion
should have been granted because the State failed to present
sufficient evidence to establish that his handprint was
impressed at the time the crimes were committed. For the
reasons that follow, we conclude that Monroe is
distinguishable and that the evidence in this case is
sufficient to sustain Cushners conviction.
II. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Dicesare is the owner of Brandywine Motorwerks in Newark. His
business involves rebuilding Porsches into race cars and
providing race support to his customers. Some of his
customers leave trailers used for storing and transporting
their vehicles on Dicesares lot. The lot at Brandywine
Motorwerks is fenced in, but the gate to the fence is open
during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). During regular business hours, at the
time in question, Dicesare was normally at the lot by
himself, and anyone who wanted to enter the lot when the
business was open could do so.
Dicesare opened his lot on Monday morning, September 18,
2017, he discovered that the side door to an auto storage
trailer he owned was open. He saw a black, left handprint on
the outside of the trailer door. The trailer door was
white in color. He also saw that a padlock and latch on the
door handle had been cut. Inside the trailer, he found that a
duffle bag and a car cover were missing. He also found that
the lock on another trailer belonging to a customer had been
cut, but nothing had been taken from inside that trailer.
Dicesare called the police.
police gathered four fingerprints from the handprint on
Dicesares trailer door but found no other prints anywhere on
that trailer or the customers trailer. Three of the
fingerprints had enough detail to make a comparison, and
those prints were identified as belonging to Cushner.
trial, Dicesare testified that the last time before Monday,
September 18, he saw ...