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Navarro v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

October 15, 2019

EUDALDO NAVARRO, Defendant Below, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below, Appellee.

          Submitted: August 27, 2019

          Court Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID Nos. 1709006495 (N) & 1712003000 (N)

          Before VAUGHN, SEITZ, and TRAYNOR, Justices.

          ORDER

          COLLINS J. SEITZ, JR. JUSTICE

         After consideration of the appellant's Supreme Court Rule 26(c) brief, the State's response, and the record on appeal, it appears to the Court that:

         (1) On June 13, 2018, after a two-day trial in Criminal ID No. 1709006495, a Superior Court jury found the appellant, Eudaldo Navarro, guilty of menacing as a lesser included offense of aggravated menacing and second degree unlawful imprisonment as a lesser included offense of first degree unlawful imprisonment. As discussed in more detail below, these convictions arose from Navarro's actions against his wife in September 2017.

         (2) On August 6, 2018, Navarro pled guilty in Criminal ID No. 1712003000 to second degree attempted kidnapping, aggravated menacing, and second degree conspiracy. These convictions arose from armed strangers, at Navarro's behest, forcing Navarro's wife and children to leave their home to go to Navarro in December 2017.

         (3) The Superior Court sentenced Navarro in both criminal cases to a total of twenty-three years and one month of Level V incarceration, suspended after six years for decreasing levels of supervision. This is Navarro's direct appeal.

         (4) At the trial in Criminal ID No. 1709006495, Navarro's wife testified that she and Navarro were separated as of September 2017. Navarro was not a U.S. citizen and was not legally in the U.S. On September 8, 2017, Navarro's wife came home to find Navarro there with their children. Navarro wanted to speak to her, but she wanted to take their children to dance lessons. Navarro's sister arrived and picked up the children.

         (5) Navarro eventually convinced his wife to go inside the house with him. He then grabbed her arm, pushed her into a bedroom, locked the door, and threatened her. He also took away her cell phone and car keys. He grabbed a kitchen knife and threatened to kill her and himself. He would not let her leave the bedroom. He repeatedly slashed a framed picture of Marilyn Monroe that she had in the bedroom.

         (6) To escape from Navarro, his wife lied to him, telling him that she had cancer and needed to go to the hospital. Navarro took her to the hospital in his GMC Yukon truck. During an ultrasound procedure, she told hospital staff about Navarro's threats. She declined their offers to call the police. She contacted the police the next day after speaking with her family.

         (7) After speaking with Navarro's wife, the investigating police officer tried to contact Navarro. He went to Navarro's workplace where he found Navarro's truck, but not Navarro. A knife and picture of Marilyn Monroe were in the truck. Navarro's wife identified the knife as the one that Navarro had used to threaten her. The police were unable to recover any fingerprints from the knife and did not submit it for DNA testing.

         (8) Navarro's sister testified that both her brother and her sister-in-law asked her to pick up the children on September 8, 2017. According to her, both of them seemed happy when she picked up the children. Later that day her sister-in-law called to say she was at the hospital because she was not feeling well and that one of her relatives would pick up the children. The jury found Navarro guilty of menacing as a lesser included offense of aggravated menacing and second degree unlawful imprisonment as a lesser included offense of first degree unlawful imprisonment. The jury found Navarro not guilty of terroristic threatening and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

         (9) As noted earlier, Navarro pled guilty to second degree attempted kidnapping, aggravated menacing, and second degree conspiracy in Criminal ID No. 1712003000, when Navarro instructed armed strangers to force Navarro's wife ...


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