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Rhode Island Judiciary > Courts > Supreme Court > Case Summaries > Criminal Case 2013  


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Criminal Case Summaries 2013



2013-131  Amadeu Santos v. State                                             (show cause)


The applicant appeals to this Court from the Superior Court’s denial of his application for postconviction relief following convictions in 1996 on three counts of second-degree sexual assault.  Applicant alleged in his application that he was deprived of a proper colloquy at his plea hearing, in violation of his constitutional rights and Rule 11 of the Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure.  The Superior Court found, however, that the defense of laches bars the application, which was brought more than 14 years after applicant entered his plea.  Before this Court, applicant contends that the postconviction relief justice erred in granting the state’s motion to dismiss on the basis of laches; according to applicant, the state failed to prove that applicant had negligently failed to assert a known right. 

2013-110   State v. Joseph Armour                                              (full briefing)


This case is before the Court on appeal by the defendant from a judgment of conviction on one count of second-degree child molestation, for which he received a sentence of 30 years, with 90 months to serve, and the remainder of the sentence suspended with probation.  On appeal, defendant argues that the trial justice erred: (1) in denying his motion to suppress a statement given by him to the East Providence police; and (2) in permitting a doctor to testify over defense counsel’s objection on the topic of sexual penetration of children, notwithstanding that defendant was on trial for second-degree child molestation, with no allegation of penetration of any kind charged.

2013-98   State v. Pedro Marte                                                                    (show cause)


This case is before the Court on appeal by the defendant from a conviction by jury on one count of delivery of cocaine, in violation of Rhode Island General Laws § 21-28-4.01, for which he received a sentence of 10 years, with two years to serve and eight years suspended with probation.  On appeal, defendant argues that the trial justice erred in denying his motion in limine to exclude evidence that he had cash on him at the time of his arrest, a fact which he asserts was not previously divulged by the state during discovery, and was highly prejudicial to the presentation of his defense.




2013-74    Jeffrey Motyka v. State                                                           (show cause)


Before the Court is the indigent petitioner’s appeal from a Superior Court denial and dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.  Petitioner’s appointed postconviction relief counsel was allowed by that court to withdraw following a motion made pursuant to Shatney v. State, 755 A.2d 130 (R.I. 2000) (per curiam).  However, petitioner contends before this Court that the attorney’s “de minimus” memorandum in support of the motion to withdraw failed to satisfy the standards set forth by this Court in Shatney and its progeny.  According to petitioner, the court-appointed attorney “failed to provide the [c]ourt and [applicant] with a competent analysis of the issues in a ‘legally meaningful fashion.’” 

2013-4    State v. Mohammed Nabe                                          (show cause)


This case is before the Court on appeal by the defendant from a judgment of conviction on one count of possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle without a license to carry a firearm.  On appeal, defendant argues that the trial justice erred in denying his motion for new trial and asserts that there was no evidence that defendant was aware that his codefendant was in possession of a gun prior to its discharge.  Specifically, he attacks the testimony of a witness, which he asserts lacked any indicia of reliability.




2013-155   State v. Jose Barrientos                                            (show cause)


Defendant appeals from a finding that he violated the terms and conditions of probation. He argues the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that he had violated probation, primarily because the state failed to provide testimony from a toxicologist as to the identity of a substance that was alleged to be heroin.

2013-13   State v. Elizabeth Mendez                                           (full briefing)


Defendant appeals from a conviction for possession of more than five kilograms of marijuana. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial judge incorrectly answered a question from the jury during deliberations regarding constructive possession; that the state failed to present sufficient evidence of her guilt; and that her sentence is unconstitutional because it is disproportionate to the offense of possession of marijuana.

Family Summaries

2013-11   In re Lyric P.                                                                  (show cause)


The respondent father appeals from a decree terminating his parental rights to his son. He contends that there was insufficient evidence to show that DCYF made reasonable efforts to reunite him with his son. DCYF argues that its efforts to reunite father and son were hampered by respondent’s incarceration

2013-54  State v. Jose Gonzalez                                                  (show cause)


The defendant appeals from a Superior Court order denying his motion to reduce sentence.


2013-67   State v. Robert Furlong    (show cause)


These cases are before the Court on appeal by the defendant from a finding of probation violation, for which he received nine years to serve of a previously suspended sentence.  On appeal, defendant argues that the hearing justice erred in finding that defendant had violated the terms and conditions of his probation by failing to keep the peace and be of good behavior.

2013-35  Raymond Lynch v. State     (show cause)


The applicant appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief.  The applicant asserts that there were material errors at his criminal trial in the admission of evidence.  He also contends that he received at trial ineffective assistance of counsel and a jury that was not impartial.  He further argues that there was prosecutorial misconduct at trial, the trial proceedings were unfair, and that he was given a disproportionate sentence.   


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