Smyrna man’s riot conviction in 2013 incident is upheld

DOVER — A Smyrna man’s request to overturn a riot conviction after a 2013 parking lot fight was denied by the Delaware Supreme Court last Friday.

The court determined that all elements required to meet a riot charge were present, and Robert G. Mundell’s guilty finding in Kent County Superior Court should stand.

Mundell was charged after an incident on Aug. 31, 2013, that included several combatants at the SNAP Fitness site in the 600 block of South Carter Road inn Smyrna.

In documents, the court acknowledged that Mundell struck a man in the face with a golf club during the brawl, which stemmed from an earlier reported assault and new iPhone theft at a bonfire party in Kenton. Mundell and others arrived at the parking lot and confronted several young men as a melee unfolded, the court wrote.

Mundell was also convicted of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to probation, given a fine, and ordered to perform 100 hours community service. He appealed the riot conviction only.

In his appeal to the Supreme Court Mundell argued “that there was insufficient evidence from which the jury could have rationally found him guilty of riot.”

The Supreme Court, however, maintained “there was sufficient evidence of another version of events to support the jury’s finding that Mundell was guilty of riot.

“First, he and at least two others engaged in a course of disorderly conduct … There was also sufficient evidence for the jury to have concluded that Mundell intended to commit a misdemeanor and used a deadly weapon, either of which would make him guilty of riot.

“Witnesses testified that they saw Mundell swinging a golf club around, and committing a misdemeanor assault by striking (person) in the face. Additionally, they saw (a person) supplying Mundell with the golf club, which qualified as a ‘deadly weapon’ for purposes of the riot statute.

“There was thus sufficient for the jury to have rationally concluded that all of the required elements of the crime of riot were proven beyond a reasonable double.

Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. signed the opinion, which was also determined by Chief Leo Strine and Justice Randy Holland.

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