State v. Grinnage, ID 1011015425

CourtSuperior Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtJan. R. Jurden, President Judge
Docket NumberID 1011015425
Decision Date22 November 2022



ID No. 1011015425

Superior Court of Delaware

November 22, 2022

Date Submitted: September 15, 2022


Jan. R. Jurden, President Judge

Upon consideration of Defendant's Pro Se Motion for Correction of an Illegal Sentence ("Rule 35(a) Motion"), Superior Court Criminal Rule 35(a), statutory and decisional law, and the record, IT APPEARS THAT:

(1) Defendant pled guilty to two counts of Burglary Second Degree pursuant to a Plea Agreement on July 25, 2011.[1] The Plea Agreement accepted and signed by the Defendant states that the State intended to move for Defendant to be declared a habitual offender under 11 Del. C. § 4214(a) on one of the Burglary Second Degree charges.[2] On both the Plea Agreement and the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form, and during the Plea Colloquy, Defendant acknowledged that he was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years for that charge, and


subject to a total mandatory minimum sentence of eleven years for the two offenses.[3]On the Truth-in-Sentencing Guilty Plea Form, Defendant acknowledged that, by not going to trial, he was waiving his constitutional rights, including the right to appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court with the assistance of a lawyer if convicted.[4]

(2) Prior to sentencing, the State filed a Motion to Declare Andre Grinnage a Habitual Offender.[5] On October 21, 2011, the Court granted the motion[6] and sentenced Defendant as follows: for Burglary Second Degree, IN11-01-1065 ("First Burglary"), 8 years at Level V; for Burglary Second Degree, IN11-01-1068 ("Second Burglary"), 6 years at Level V, suspended after 3 years for decreasing levels of supervision.[7]

(3) Since sentencing, the Defendant has filed numerous pro se motions, [8]all of which the Court has denied.[9]

(4) Defendant filed the instant Rule 35(a) Motion on September 15, 2022.[10]He claims his enhanced sentence as a habitual offender is illegal because the plea


agreements from the predicate convictions underlying his habitual offender status were defective.[11] Specifically, Defendant contends that the plea agreements violated his constitutional right to Due Process because they failed to advise him that he was waiving the right to appeal with the assistance of counsel.[12] Defendant argues that there is no record he was advised of that right, which he says is "the determining factor" in the decision to plead guilty.[13] He alleges that because he did not intentionally relinquish that right, the plea agreements from the predicate convictions were defective.[14] Because of this, Defendant reasons, his enhanced sentence as a habitual offender is illegal.

(5) Under Superior Court Criminal Rule 35(a), the Court may correct an illegal sentence at any time.[15] Rule 35(a) serves a "narrow function" that is limited to correcting illegal sentences.[16] It is not a mechanism for re-examining errors occurring in...

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