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State v. Carr

Superior Court of Delaware

November 4, 2019

STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff,
v.
BRUCE J. CARR, Defendant.

          Submitted: August 16, 2019

          Annemarie Puit, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State.

          Bruce J. Carr, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware, pro se.

          COMMISSIONER'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR POSTCONVICTION RELIEF SHOULD BE SUMMARILY DISMISSED

          Commissioner Lynne M. Parker

         This 4th day of November 2019, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Postconviction Relief, it appears to the Court that:

         BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         1. In 1982, Defendant Bruce J. Carr was convicted of kidnapping, conspiracy, rape and attempted rape, and was sentenced to six consecutive life terms plus forty years.

         2. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed Carr's conviction and sentence on direct appeal.[1]

         3. Thereafter, Carr filed many unsuccessful petitions seeking to overturn his conviction and sentence. This is Carr's eleventh Rule 61 motion for postconviction relief.[2]

         4. In one of his unsuccessful post trial petitions, Carr admitted his guilt to the charges for which he was convicted.[3]

         5. On August 8, 2019, Carr filed the subject Rule 61 motion. In the subject motion, Carr claims that he only recently became aware that a plea offer was offered to him as well as his co-defendant. His co-defendant accepted the plea offer and was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Carr now contends that if he was aware that the plea offer had also been offered to him, he would also have accepted it.

         6. Carr's co-defendant accepted a plea offer on June 14, 1982. His co-defendant pled guilty to two counts of rape in the first degree and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.[4]

         7. Carr and his co-defendant were jointly indicted on all the same charges. Carr was aware at the time of his trial in 1982 that his co-defendant had accepted a plea offer. In fact, Carr filed a motion in 1982, after he was convicted at trial, seeking an acquittal due to the alleged prejudice caused by a newspaper article reporting on his co-defendant's guilty plea.[5]

         8. There was no question that Carr knew that his co-defendant accepted a plea in 1982, prior to his trial, to two counts of rape in the first degree and was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment given his 1982 post-trial motion acknowledging such plea and sentence. There is also no question that prior to his trial, Carr refused to admit his guilt and refused to accept a plea given his contemporaneous letter to the court dated ...


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