November 6, 2019.
Closed January 30, 2020.
Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware. Cr. ID:
Christopher S. Koyste, Esquire, Wilmington, Delaware, Counsel
L. Adams, Esquire, Department of Justice, Wilmington,
Delaware, Counsel for Appellee.
VALIHURA, VAUGHN, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
Jeffrey Clark and two of his associates, Rayshaun Johnson and
Christopher Harris, were indicted on charges of murder in the
first degree, conspiracy in the first degree, possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of
a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, for their roles in
the shooting death of Theodore " Teddy" Jackson.
After Harris pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and
entered into a cooperation agreement with the State, the
Superior Court granted
Clark's request that his case be tried separately from
Johnson's. Johnson's case went to trial first, and a
jury convicted him on all indicted charges. Then, after a
nine-day trial in September 2017, a jury found Clark guilty
of attempted assault in the second degree— purportedly
a lesser-included offense of murder in the first degree, and
conspiracy in the second degree, a lesser included offense of
conspiracy in the first degree.
he was sentenced, Clark moved the Superior Court " to
enter a judgment of acquittal for the convicted counts of
attempted assault in the second degree, reducing the counts
of conviction to counts supported by the evidence; that is,
attempted assault third degree and conspiracy third
degree."  The court denied Clark's motion
and eventually sentenced Clark to four years'
incarceration, followed by descending levels of supervision.
this direct appeal, Clark makes a single claim— that
despite the inescapable fact that Teddy Jackson, the only
victim identified in the indictment, is dead, the State
failed to present sufficient evidence at trial to support the
jury's finding that Clark, at the time of the alleged
crime, intended to cause " serious physical
injury." And because intent to cause " serious
physical injury," as opposed to mere " physical
injury," is an element of attempted assault in the
second degree, according to Clark, the Superior Court erred
when it denied his post-trial motion for judgment of
acquittal. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that
Clark's claim is without merit, and we therefore affirm
the Superior Court's judgments of conviction.
Facts and Procedural History
April 3, 2014, a young man approached Doris Reyes, the mother
of one of Clark's children, and delivered a threatening
message intended for Clark. The young man referred to a
" situation he had with [Clark] years ago" and told
Reyes and her daughter, " When you see Jeff, say goodbye
to him because that will be the last time you see him."
Reyes relayed the message to Clark by telephone, who became
aggravated and upset upon hearing this news. Clark was
with co-defendants, Harris and Johnson, when he received the
call from Reyes describing the threatening encounter.
testified that Clark appeared upset and irate, and wanted to
find the man who made the threat so that he could " do
something to him."  Clark believed that the young man
who made the threat was named Kyle, and Clark " wanted
to fight" him. Clark told Reyes " not to
worry," assuring her that " he wasn't going to
let anything happen" to her or their
child. Clark explained that, " [i]f he
had to take him in the middle of the street,
fight him, then he would."  Reyes informed Clark that
Kyle was wearing " Army fatigue pants and a black shirt,
or black jacket."  Thereafter, Clark " took off
running, looking for Kyle." 
Johnson, and Harris spent the evening searching for Kyle.
During their pursuit, they encountered Marcel Swanson at a
nearby corner store. Clark asked Swanson about Kyle and
explained that he had disrespected someone in his family.
Swanson described Clark's demeanor during their
interaction as " angry" and " real
aggressive."  Swanson also noted that Clark was