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Williams v. United States

January 28, 1999

BRADFORD WILLIAMS, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE.



Before Wagner, Chief Judge, and Schwelb and Farrell, Associate Judges.

Notice: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the Atlantic and Maryland Reporters. Users are requested to notify the Clerk of the Court of any formal errors so that corrections may be made before the bound volumes go to press.

Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Hon. Stephanie Duncan-Peters, Trial Judge)

Argued June 4, 199

Opinion for the court by Associate Judge Schwelb.

Opinion by Chief Judge Wagner, Concurring in part and Dissenting in part, at p. _.

Schwelb, Associate Judge: Following a trial that ended on November 21, 1995, Bradford Williams was convicted by a jury of the following offenses:

1. First degree burglary with intent to commit assault; *fn1

2. First degree burglary with intent to steal; *fn2

3. Assault with intent to commit rape; *fn3 and

4. Robbery. *fn4

On January 17, 1996, Williams was sentenced to terms of imprisonment of seven to twenty-one years on each burglary count and of five to fifteen years on the assault and robbery counts. The Judge ordered that all four sentences run concurrently with one another. Williams filed a timely appeal from his convictions, claiming that the Judge erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal.

On January 17, 1997, with the assistance of new counsel, Williams filed a motion pursuant to D.C. Code § 23-110 (1996) to vacate his conviction, alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. On April 21, 1997, in an eleven-page written order, the trial Judge denied Williams' § 23-110 motion without a hearing. Williams appealed from this order, contending that the allegations in his motion were sufficient to entitle him to a hearing. Williams' two appeals were consolidated by order of this court.

Turning first to Williams' direct appeal, we find his claims of evidentiary insufficiency unpersuasive. *fn5 With respect to Williams' appeal from the denial of his § 23-110 motion, we sustain the denial insofar as it relates to the assault and robbery, but conclude that Williams was entitled to a hearing on his motion with respect to his two burglary convictions. Accordingly, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

I.

THE TRIAL

The complaining witness in this case was Christine Kyles, a widow who was seventy-four years of age at the time of the offenses. Mrs. Kyles testified that Williams was a neighbor whom she had known for about three years. She related that on December 31, 1994, as she was walking to her home from her car, Williams approached her and asked for twenty dollars. Mrs. Kyles told Williams that she did not have any money, but Williams nevertheless walked with her towards her house and told her that he was coming in. Mrs. Kyles responded: "No, you are not," and she proceeded to unlock the storm door in order to gain entrance. Mrs. Kyles testified that when she attempted to lock the door behind her, Williams pulled the door open and forced his way into the house.

Once inside, according to Mrs. Kyles, Williams again demanded money. Mrs. Kyles again refused to give him any. Williams then pushed her to the floor, and he began to molest her sexually. Mrs. Kyles testified that during the struggle, she scratched Williams on the left side of his face. Mrs. Kyles finally gave Williams twenty dollars, and Williams ...


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