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Department of Justice Highlights Include a Guilty Plea from a Teen Shooter, and Prison Time for an Attempted Bank Robber

Date Posted: Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Categories:  Criminal Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases News

WILMINGTON, DE – Deputy Attorneys General within the Delaware Department of Justice had several significant successes recently, including a case where a juvenile was adjudicated as an adult for a crime involving a firearm, consistent with Attorney General Denn’s announced focus on teens with guns.

Resolutions:

Deputy Attorneys General Jamie McCloskey and Caterina Gatto secured a guilty plea from 16-year-old Brandon Pendergast of Townsend, for second degree assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Following an altercation during a Middletown High School football game on September 5, 2014, Pendergast, while riding in a van along East Lake Street, shot two teenagers on the street. Prosecutors also prevailed in a reverse amenability hearing on February 20, 2015, which kept all of the charges in Superior Court.

Deputy Attorney General Mark Denney secured a guilty from Brandon Turner, 21, of New Castle, to drug dealing and conspiracy, and from Alvin Phillips, 49, of Wilmington, for second degree conspiracy. The pair were involved in the sale of heroin throughout the New Castle area.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Robertson secured a guilty plea from Khalif Lewis 26, of Wilmington, for carrying a concealed deadly weapon. During a pedestrian stop along Concord Avenue in Wilmington in October 2014, police found Lewis trying to hide a loaded semi-automatic handgun.

Deputy Attorney General John Taylor secured a guilty plea for possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, and second degree assault, from Jason Hall 46, of Wilmington. On August 27, 2014, Hall exchanged words with another man at a gas station on North Market Street in Wilmington. During the argument, Hall swung a box cutter at the victim, slicing him on the hand.

Deputy Attorney General Brian Robertson secured a guilty plea against 29-year-old Leroy Mitchell of Wilmington, for possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. Mitchell was stopped by police in the 800 block of Morrow Street in Wilmington for not wearing a seatbelt. When officers approached the car, they detected the smell of marijuana, which led them to search the vehicle. Officers found a loaded 9mm handgun next to the driver’s seat.

Deputy Attorneys General John Downs and Jan van Amerongen secured a guilty plea in State v. David Yarborough, 30, of Bear, to two counts of first degree attempted assault, and two counts of second degree burglary. Yarborough tried to hire a hitman to harm two individuals, but it turned out he was negotiating with an undercover officer. The Habitual Offender motion will be filed for the burglary charges, making the mandatory time for the assault and burglary 20 years in prison. Also resolved as part of the plea was an insurance fraud case, where the defendant will be sentenced on one count by Judge Young in Dover.

Deputy Attorney General David Holloway secured a guilty plea against Anthony Livesay, 48, of New Castle, in connection with a drunk driving incident. Livesay struck two vehicles in the area of Route 273 and Old Baltimore Pike on June 20, 2014, injuring the driver of one of the other cars. He pled guilty to driving under the influence for the fourth time, and first degree vehicular assault.

Sentences:

Deputy Attorney General Julie Finocchiaro secured a 30-year prison sentence against 47-year-old Joseph Slayton of Newark for first degree robbery, and first degree attempted robbery. Slayton was also declared an habitual offender. In April 2014, Slayton pushed an elderly woman to the ground in a parking lot and stole her purse, and a short time later tried to rob a nearby bank.

Deputy Attorney General Julie Finocchiaro secured a three year prison sentence for first degree robbery against Rachel Golden, 20, of Bear. Golden was sentenced for her part in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman at a Newark Apartment complex in April 2014.

Deputy Attorney General David Holloway secured a 10-year prison sentence, suspended after 4 years for 18 months of supervised probation, against Brian Taylor, 26, of Hampton, Virginia, for aggravated possession of drugs. Taylor was stopped for speeding on Route 1 on August 5, 2014, and after a search of the car, police found 257.5 grams of cocaine in the glove compartment.

Deputy Attorney General David Holloway secured a 10-year prison sentence, suspended after 10 months for 18 months of supervised probation, against Tyrone Gardner, 25, of New Castle, for drug dealing. During a traffic stop in July 2014, police found 50 bundles of heroin, along with a large amount of cash.

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