Convict’s repeated appeals called ‘abuse of the judicial process’

 

DOVER — The dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a Dover man convicted of attempted robbery in 1997 has been upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court.

Kenneth T. Deputy had challenged his conviction and a 22-year prison sentence through a civil complaint. However, Kent County Superior Court ruled the action was legally frivolous, according to papers.

Deputy appealed the decision, and the Supreme Court affirmed Superior Court’s resolution on Wednesday. Justices Randy Holland, Karen Valihura and Collins Seitz Jr. issued the order.

Deputy originally was convicted on first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony regarding an incident at a convenience store, according to papers.

“Since that time, Deputy has filed numerous unsuccessful petitions seeking to challenge the validity of his convictions,” the Supreme Court wrote.

“Deputy’s latest attempt seeking to challenge his convictions and sentence was the filing of a civil complaint against state actors, including police officers, lawyers and judges, who were involved in criminal case through the years …”

The Supreme Court determined that the only way for overturning the criminal convictions or lessening the sentence was through Superior Court Criminal Rule 61.

“Moreover to the extent Deputy’s complaint sought damages for the state’s alleged wrongful criminal prosecution of him, his complaint is frivolous because the legality of his convictions has been established.”

Deputy unsuccessfully has sought post-conviction relief in Superior Court five times, according to court documents.

“He refuses to accept the court’s rulings on his motions,” according to the Supreme Court.

“We conclude that Deputy’s untimely, repetitive, and frivolous filings constitute an abuse of the judicial process.”

The Supreme Court directed the Superior Court Clerk “to refuse any future filing from Deputy related to these criminal convictions and sentences unless the filing is accompanied by the required filing fee or a completed motion to proceed in forma pauperis with a sworn affidavit containing the certifications required by (Delaware law) and that motion is first granted by the Court.”

According to reports at the time, Deputy allegedly beat a clerk and slashed him with a knife during a robbery try at a Shore Stop convenience store on U.S. 13. When the cash register would not open, according to allegations, no money was obtained.

During his trial, according to reports, Deputy was required to wear an electronic belt capable of shooting 50,000 volts of electricity through his body for eight seconds to disable him. The belt was activated during an outburst directed at Judge Henry duPont Ridgely, reports said at the time.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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