30 A.3d 120 (Del.Fa. 2011), 1105024422, Crews v. State

Docket Nº:1105024422.
Citation:30 A.3d 120
Opinion Judge:HENRIKSEN, J.
Party Name:In re the Matter of Julie CREWS, Petitioner, v. STATE of Delaware, Respondent.
Attorney:Carole Dunn, Esquire, Delaware Office of the Public Defender, Georgetown, DE, Attorney for Julie Crews. Kathleen Geiszler, Esquire, Delaware Department of Justice, Georgetown, DE, Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware.
Case Date:September 26, 2011
Court:Family Court of Delaware
 
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30 A.3d 120 (Del.Fa. 2011)

In re the Matter of Julie CREWS, Petitioner,

v.

STATE of Delaware, Respondent.

No. 1105024422.

Family Court of Delaware, Sussex.

September 26, 2011

Submitted: July 22, 2011.

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Review of Commissioner's Order.

Carole Dunn, Esquire, Delaware Office of the Public Defender, Georgetown, DE, Attorney for Julie Crews.

Kathleen Geiszler, Esquire, Delaware Department of Justice, Georgetown, DE, Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware.

OPINION

HENRIKSEN, J.

Pending before the Court is a Request for Review of a Commissioner's Order filed by Julie Crews 1 (" Petitioner" ) on July 22, 2011. The State of Delaware (" State" ) did not file a response. Simultaneous with the filing of her appeal, Petitioner filed a Motion to Stay Execution of Commissioner's Order and Sentence. The following represents the Order of the Court on both filings.

Facts and Background

On May 28, 2011, Petitioner was charged with two counts of text message related Harassment, a Class A Misdemeanor.2 On July 15, 2011, trial on the harassment charges was held before a Commissioner of this Court. At the hearing, the Court heard testimony from several individuals, including Petitioner's ex-husband, Douglas Crews " (Petitioner's ex-husband" or " ex-husband" ) and the parties' sixteen (16)

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year old minor child, Kevin (" Son" ). Petitioner's ex-husband testified that Petitioner sent him two text messages on May 27, 2011.3 Each separate text message forms the basis of one of the two counts of harassment. The first text message reads as follows:

Text Message 1: You need to pick the kids up at Hope's, I work a double, try to keep your whore away from them. This is— that is a skanky b**** that will f*** with someone's child five feet away. She will get hers, she will get hers for disrespecting my son like that, and you should f****** know better. Don't let it happen again or we will be in a visitation center again. Not that you care, but Kevin saw that b***** naked when he went to the bathroom. What the f*** is wrong with you? 4

Petitioner does not dispute she sent the aforementioned text message to her ex-husband. However, Petitioner testified this text message was sent to her ex-husband because of an incident that had occurred while their 16 year old son was in his custody. Although Petitioner testified to the particular incident, Son testified as well. Specifically, Son testified he was awoken in the middle of the night by his father having sexual intercourse with his girlfriend. On direct examination by Assistant Public Defender Carole Dunn, Son testified, in pertinent part, as follows:

Q. Kevin, did something happen in that camper that caused you to leave the camper or that caused you to argue with your dad or that caused you some real concern?

A. It didn't cause me concern, it bothered me a lot, though, but yes.

Q. Okay. What bothered you a lot?

A. I was probably not even 10' away from him and he was having sex in the other room rocking the whole camper, and he swore on my life he wouldn't do that, so— .5

Petitioner claimed that she sent the first text message in response to this incident. She testified at the hearing, in pertinent part, as follows:

Q. Okay. Now while you were married— let's first of all talk about the situation on May 27 and events immediately preceding.

A. Okay.

Q. Did you receive a call from Douglas and/or Kevin?

A. I received a call from Douglas at 6:15 that morning from Kevin's telephone because he had taken Kevin's telephone. Kevin had run off at 5:00 a.m. that morning. Douglas called me at 6:15 to tell me that Kevin had run off. I went looking for Kevin because I knew he was on a bicycle on a back road and he couldn't be too far. After I—

Q. Where were you living at this time?

A. On Ruffin Road.

Q. Um-hum.

A. And he was on Ruffin Road, so we were only about two miles from living from each other.

Q. Okay.

A. And I picked Kevin up and that is when I sent my first text message.

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These text messages were sent the day that this occurred with Kevin. I was angry, I used very poor language, I admit it.

Q. Okay. And why were you angry?

A. Because Douglas, himself had called me and admitted that he had done something that he probably shouldn't have, which was have sex with Kevin there. And then Kevin later told me that the door wasn't shut and that he saw the girl topless, which and we're talking about a 25' camper. And my younger children were not there, like he stated. My younger children were with me. When I got Kevin and Kevin gave me the rest of the story, I sent Douglas that text message, you know. Saying, telling him he should know better and yes, I admitted I used bad language, I was angry.6

On direct examination, Petitioner's ex-husband testified to the second text message that was sent to him by Petitioner. In its entirety, that text message is as follows:

Text Message 2: This is the message your skanky b**** left me, you better not have that trash around my kids or I will make things real ugly. And tell that c*** I said let me know and when and where and I will whip her f****** ass. She has my number.7

Once again, Petitioner did not dispute she sent the second text message to her ex-husband. However, Petitioner testified it was sent in response to a telephone message she received from her ex-husband's girlfriend. Other than Petitioner's testimony that the girlfriend left her a telephone message, no evidence concerning the...

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