Teenager Adjudicated As An Adult on Shooting Charge Gets Six Years in Prison

Sentencing continues Delaware DOJ commitment to reducing gun violence by juveniles

A teenager from Townsend will spend the next six years in prison after pleading guilty in April to charges arising from his non-fatal shooting of two other teenagers. Deputy Attorneys General Jamie McCloskey and Caterina Gatto secured a sentence of 6 years in prison, followed by probation for Brandon Pendergast, 17, for second degree assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. In September 2014, Pendergast shot two teenagers who were walking along East Lake Street in Middletown.

Other sentencings that have recently been overseen by Department of Justice prosecutors include:

Deputy Attorney General Martin O’Connor secured a prison sentence for Jayvon Lemons, 24, of Wilmington, after Lemons pled guilty to first degree robbery, drug dealing, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and violation of probation. In December 2014, Lemons was identified as a man seen on a security camera video attempting to rob a man in the 100 block of North Clayton Street in Wilmington. When officers searched Lemons’s home, they found a loaded gun, ammunition, and 65 bags of heroin. Lemons was sentenced to 29 years in prison, suspended after 9 years 7 months, followed by probation.

Deputy Attorneys General Steve Wood and Zoe Plerhoples secured a prison sentence for 51-year-old Ivan Caraballo of Wilmington, for second degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to 22 years at Level 5 suspended after 17 for probation. In May 2014, Caraballo stabbed his girlfriend, Michele Zakrzewski, to death in their home in the 900 block of Vandever Avenue.

Deputy Attorney General Abigail Layton secured a prison sentence for Purvest Allen, 40, of Wilmington for dealing in child pornography and possession of child pornography.  Allen received 3 ½ years in prison followed by probation, and must register as a Tier 2 Sex Offender. In November 2014, Allen was arrested for using a file sharing program to download and share child pornography.

Deputy Attorney General Phillip Casale secured a prison sentence for Aaron Mathis, 27, of Newark for second degree attempted robbery.  In September 2014, Mathis went into the TD Bank branch in the 200 block of East Delaware Avenue in Newark, and gave a teller a threatening note demanding money. Mathis was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended after six months, followed by six months at Level IV, then 18 months Level III probation.

Deputy Attorney General John Taylor secured a prison sentence for Tory Jenkins, 21, of Wilmington for carrying a concealed deadly weapon. During a traffic stop at the intersection of 4th and Jackson Streets in Wilmington in February of this year, police found Jenkins with an automatic handgun tucked in the waistband of his pants. Jenkins was sentenced to eight years at Level V, suspended for six months at Level IV.

Deputy Attorney General Cari Chapman secured a sentence for 40-year-old Raynardos Shockley, of New Castle. Shockley pled guilty to two counts of reckless endangering, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with abuse of his son in September 2014. Shockley was sentenced to 11 years in prison, suspended after 18 months. He will serve six months in Level IV work release, then one year on Level III probation.

Convictions and guilty pleas were obtained by Department of Justice prosecutors in the following cases:

Deputy Attorneys General Allison Abessinio and Caterina Gatto secured a conviction against Djavon Holland, 28, of Fort Washington, Maryland. In April 2014, Holland kicked in the door of a unit at the Hampton Walk Apartments in New Castle, and shot two of the people inside. Holland was convicted on one count of home invasion, two counts of first degree attempted robbery, one count of second degree assault, four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and one count of criminal mischief. Holland faces a 24-year minimum mandatory sentence.

Deputy Attorney General Tim Maguire won a guilty verdict against Sabri Caulk, 30, of Wilmington, for drug dealing and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. During an administrative search of Caulk’s home in January 2015, officers from Wilmington Police and the State Probation and Parole Office found a gun, various rounds of ammunition, heroin that was packaged for sale, a bulletproof vest, and drug money. Caulk had been on Level III probation. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the gun charge, and 8 years in prison, suspended for 6 months at Level IV, followed by 18 months at Level III probation.

Deputy Attorney General Michael DegliObizzi secured a plea from Alphonso Lancaster, 51, of Wilmington, for first degree robbery. In January, Lancaster robbed the M&T Bank branch in the 1000 block of North Market Street in Wilmington. He told a teller that he had a bomb, and demanded money.

Deputy Attorney General Dan McBride secured guilty pleas for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and felony assault from 26-year-old Ernest Clark of Wilmington. In November 2014, Clark ran from police answering a call about a man with a gun in the area of 6th and Madison Streets in Wilmington. While running from police, Clark tried to throw a gun onto the roof of a building, but the gun fell and hit a Wilmington Police Officer on the head.

Deputy Attorneys General Jim Kriner and Julie Finocchiaro secured guilty plea from 25-year-old Fernando Flores of Bear, for second degree murder. In October 2014, Flores assaulted his girlfriend, Paola Delgado Polanco, who was 24-weeks pregnant, resulting in her death. Flores faces 15 years to life in prison when sentenced.

Deputy Attorney General Diana Dunn secured guilty pleas to first degree robbery, and endangering the welfare of a child, from Amanda Paoletti, 30, of Wilmington. In January of this year, Paoletti demanded money from, and threatened to shoot the clerk, at the Wawa in the 700 block of Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington. Paoletti left the store and got into a taxi where her young daughter was waiting.  She is facing a three year minimum mandatory sentence. At the time of sentencing, the state has agreed to not ask for more than 12 years, with defense agreeing to not ask for less than 8 years.

Deputy Abigail Layton secured a guilty plea from Michael Motto, 22, of Sewell, New Jersey, for sexual solicitation of a child, and possession of child pornography.  In November 2014, Motto traveled to Delaware while in possession of child pornography, believing he was meting a 14-year-old boy for sex. Motto had been communicating with an undercover officer.

Deputy Attorney General Jan van Amerongen secured a plea from James Lawhorn, 51, of Dover, for sex offender unlawful sexual conduct against a child, and first degree unlawful sexual contact. In August 2014, Lawhorn, a registered sex offender, raped a nine-year-old in the parking lot of Delaware Park, after driving the girl’s mother to the casino. Lawhorn faces a minimum 25 years up to life, plus 8 years, when sentenced in December.