State Supreme Court upholds sentence of Dover convicted murderer

Darren C. Weiford

DOVER — A Dover man’s 33-year prison sentence for murdering his fiancée at a Dover motel two years ago was upheld in Delaware Supreme Court this week.

While Darren C. Weiford claimed that his attorney was unaware of a letter he sent to a judge requesting leniency, the state’s highest court did not find that his constitutional rights were violated.

“Only when a defendant (italicized for emphasis in a five-page order) lacks notice of a communication from the state (italicized) is he or she deprived the right to be properly heard on the issue,” Superior Court Judge Jeffrey C. Clark wrote in the initial correction of sentence denial.

Weiford was 21 when arrested at the First State Inn on June 1, 2017. Amber Buckler, 20, was found dead in a rented room with a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.

A second-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony followed and life in prison was possible.

Justice Gary F. Traynor issued the one-page Supreme Court Order regarding the correction of sentence consideration.

In his order on Jan. 25, 2019 Judge Clark reasoned, “Contrary to Mr. Weiford’s position, it is not the role of the Court to interject itself into the attorney-client relationship to regulate what information a client shares with his attorney.

“Prior to receipt of this motion, the Court had every expectation that Mr. Weiford had shared his letter with his counsel …”

The judge noted that Weiford’s attorney acknowledged his client’s request for leniency in a manner closely resembling the letter in question. The defendant sought to be sentenced for an offense less than second-degree murder.

“Defense counsel represented to the Court at sentencing that he and Mr. Weiford met frequently prior to sentencing to discuss strategy,” Judge Clark maintained.

“As a result, the Court does not question counsel’s diligent preparation for the sentencing …”

Superior Court found the murder “to be excessively cruel.

“This murder followed his detailed posting on social media, one month earlier, that amounted to a script for carrying out his plan …”

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