Hartly man’s murder conviction upheld by Superior Court judge

Ambrose L. Sykes

DOVER — A former death row inmate’s murder conviction will stand after he was denied relief for a second time in Kent County Superior Court on Thursday.

Ambrose L. Sykes, formerly of Hartly, claimed he received ineffective counsel during earlier attempts to contest his guilty finding in the 2004 murder of a 68-year-old woman in a Dover apartment.

He was convicted on first-degree murder and first-degree rape charges on June 27, 2006 and was initially sentenced to death before the term was stayed.

In a 15-page order, Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. explained that the new supposed evidence that Sykes claimed had emerged would not have overcome the “overwhelming evidence already identified in this case.”

Other convicted charges against Sykes included burglary and kidnapping.

In a 98-page decision, Superior Court denied an earlier bid for post-conviction relief on Jan. 21, 2014. The decision was upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court on Jan. 30, 2015.

In the motion submitted Oct. 11, 2017, Sykes claimed his attorneys failed to properly appeal all 23 issues presented in the first motion.

Attorneys Herbert W. Mondros and Samuel J.B. Angell argued for Sykes. Deputy Attorneys General Stephen R. Welch Jr. and John Williams represented the Delaware Department of Justice.

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