Criminal Mischief In Delaware
The State has a burden of proving each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. 11 Del. C. 301. State v. Matushefske, Del. Supr., 215 A.2d 443 (1965).
The State also has a burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt jurisdiction and venue. 11 Del. C. 232. James v. State, Del. Supr., 377 A.2d 15 (1977); Thornton v. State, Del. Supr., 405 A.2d 126 (1979).
In order to find the defendant guilty of criminal mischief, an unclassified misdemeanor, the Court must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant intentionally or recklessly damaged tangible property of another person. 11 Del. C. 811(a)(1). See, e.g., State of Delaware v. Moye, Del.(1998); Scott v. State of Delaware, Del. Supr., 633 A.2d 371 (November 1, 1993); 11 Del. C. 301. the words "intentionally" or "recklessly" are defined in 11 Del. C. 231(a) and 11 Del. C.231(c).
The Court as trier of fact is the sole judge of the credibility of each fact witness. If the Court finds the evidence in conflict, it is the Court's duty to reconcile these conflicts and if reasonably possible, so as to make one harmonious story of it all.
If the Court cannot do this, the Court must give credit to the portion of the testimony, which, in the Court's judgment is most worthy of credit and disregard any portion of the testimony which in the Court's judgment is unworthy of credit.
In doing so, the Court takes into consideration the demeanor of the witness, their apparent fairness in giving their testimony, their opportunities in hearing and knowing the facts about which they testified and any basis or interest that they may have concerning the nature of the case.