Post-conviction relief denied to Dover business owner

DOVER — A former downtown Dover businessman’s latest attempt to contest a conviction for fleeing police and causing an injurious accident in 2013 was denied in Superior Court Tuesday.

James A. Wilson, declared a habitual offender in court proceedings, sought post-conviction relief for a seven-year prison sentence, but his appeal raised no new issues from an earlier bid, Judge Jeffrey Clark determined in a three-page order.

The Court included denial by Commissioner Andrea M. Freud on Feb. 14, 2018 to back the decision.

Wilson submitted the appeal on May 3. His sentence also includes decreasing levels of probation following release from maximum incarceration.

James B. Wilson stands outside the Kent County Courthouse in Dover during his 2016 trial.(Delaware State News file photo)

A jury trial ended on March 9, 2016 with a conviction of second-degree assault, disregarding a police signal driving on the wrong side of the roadway, failure to stop at a red light and driving at an unreasonable speed. Deputy Attorney General Greg Babowal prosecuted the case, with attorney John R. Garey representing the defendant.

An appeal to the Supreme Court was earlier denied, and Judge Clark pointed to five issues that “were in large part the same issues he raises in the present motion.”

According to Dover Police at the time, Wilson drove away from the area as officers conducted a search warrant of his Many Things business on April 4, 2013. His vehicle broadsided a truck at a nearby intersection, seriously injuring the driver, authorities said. Wilson claimed at trial he panicked and fled after officers approached him with guns drawn.

According to the order, the Supreme Court considered Wilson’s claims that:

• His arrest was illegal because the search warrant did not authorize his seizure outside the Many Things building.

• Evidence was insufficient to prove second-degree assault because the jury acquitted him of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony.

• Evidence was insufficient to prove a felony charge of disregarding an officer’s signal.

• Second-degree assault couldn’t be proved because he lacked the requisite state of mind.

• His trial counsel was ineffective. The Court did not address this claim because it was a first time claim on direct appeal.

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