Submitted Date: July 1, 2018
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
POSTCONVICTION RELIEF, MOTION FOR AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING,
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL, MOTION TO SET ASIDE
CONVICTION AND ORDER A NEW TRIAL, AND MOTION OF EXCULPATORY
EVIDENCE THAT JUSTIFIES A NEW TRIAL
George, pro se.
Bradley V. Manning, Commissioner
17th day of September 2018, upon consideration of
the various motions submitted by defendant Monir George for
postconviction relief (hereinafter the "Motion" or
"Motions"), I find and recommend the following:
and Procedural History
George ("Defendant") was found Guilty But Mentally
Ill. of Murder in the First Degree, Attempted Murder in the
First Degree, Reckless Endangering in the First Degree, and
three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission
of a Felony, on October 29, 2009, following a bench trial. At
trial, Defendant was represented by counsel who did not deny
that he committed the murder, but rather, argued that he
should be found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity or guilty of
Manslaughter based on Extreme Emotional
convictions were affirmed on direct appeal by the Delaware
Supreme Court on October 13, 2010. Defendant then filed his
first timely motion for postconviction relief, pro
se, on October 7, 2011. An amended motion for
postconviction relief was filed with the assistance of
counsel on June 28, 2013. Following extensive briefing,
Commissioner Vavala issued a report and recommendation that
the motion should be denied on March 6, 2014. On May 15, 2014,
Judge Jurden issued an Order adopting the commissioner's
report after a de novo review. The Delaware Supreme
Court subsequently affirmed the order denying the motion for
postconviction relief on March 24, 2015.
1, 2018, Defendant filed the five motions now before the
Court. Excluding the Motion for Appointment of Counsel, all
of Defendant's Motions request the same thing-a new
trial, and concern the same topics-the testimony of the
State's firearms expert, Carl Rhone, and to a lesser
extent, the testimony of the then Chief Medical Examiner, Dr.
Richard T. Callery. Defendant's Motions were referred to
the undersigned commissioner on August 28, 2018. After
reviewing the trial transcripts, the previous appeals and
motions for postconviction relief, I did not find it
necessary to hold an evidentiary hearing based on the nature
of Defendant's allegations. Additionally, based on the
procedural posture of the case and Defendant's arguments,
the Motion for Appointment of Counsel should be denied
pursuant to Rule 61(e)(4) because, as discussed in more
detail below, the various motions do not meet the pleading
requirements of Rule 61(2)(i) or (2)(ii).
facts of the case, as found by the Delaware Supreme Court in
Defendant's direct appeal, are as follows:
The evidence at trial was that, on May 25, 2008, at
approximately 7:00 p.m., a fundraising event for St.
Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church was being held at the
Christiana Hilton in Christiana, Delaware. Malak Michael, a
deacon and chief fundraiser for the church, was just
finishing a speech to a group of supporters when George
approached him and shot him. Michael died on arrival at
Christiana Hospital. George also unsuccessfully attempted to
shoot Reverend Mina Mina, another member of the church
clergy. George was motivated by hatred for the church clergy,
whom he believed were corrupt, and by hatred for Michael in
particular, whom he blamed for his break-up with his wife.
Testifying at trial were witnesses to the incident, Gigi
Phillips, Michael's niece, George Kamel, Vaylet Mikhail,
and Sylvia Makar. At the time of the shooting, all four
individuals had been on or near the dais where the victim
gave his speech. Phillips and Kamel assisted in disarming
George after the shooting. Carl Rone, a firearms expert,
testified regarding the two Smith & Wesson semi-automatic
weapons George brought with him to the hotel. A number of
witnesses testified concerning George's pattern of
animosity toward the church clergy and his depressed mood
prior to the incident. Three experts from the Delaware
Psychiatric Center-Robert Thompson, Ph.D., a forensic
psychologist, Carol Tavani, M.D., a psychiatrist, and Stephen
Mechanick, M.D., also a psychiatrist, testified concerning
George's mental state at the time of the incident. Drs.
Thompson and Mechanick opined that George was mentally ill at
the time of the shooting. Dr. Tavani opined that he was
insane at the time of the shooting.
Defendant's claims for postconviction relief quoted
verbatim, are as follows:
Ground One: Forensic Firearms expert suspended and
arrested. Newly discovered evidence regarding credibility of
firearms expert Mr. Carl Rone, who testified at trial on Wed.
10-7-09. He was suspended then arrested for falsifying
Ground Two: The State relied on corrupt experts.
State experts gave perjured testimony at trial, and later Mr.
Rone was suspended, then arrested. Dr. Richard T. Callery got
fired, and Dr. Stephen Mechanic changes his opinion in favor
of the highest bidder.
Ground Three: The State submitted false evidence
(exhibit #79). Not only the State used corrupt experts, but
also could not match exhibit #79 to firearms presented
(exhibits #69 and #70), see trial transcripts of 10-7-09,
page 144, starting at line 22.
All above grounds were not previously raised. Newly
discovered evidence with the suspension [and] arrest of
firearms expert Mr. Carl Rone for falsifying official
records. The credibility issues were not known ...