Prison Sentences for Murder, Home Invasion, Robbery Obtained By DOJ Prosecutors

Prosecutors within the Delaware Department of Justice recently obtained significant convictions and sentences.

Deputy Attorneys General Ipek Medford and Steve Wood secured two sentences of life without parole, plus five years for 28-year-old Dwight Smith of Wilmington, in connection to a 2011 rape and murder. In December 2011, 65-year-old Marsha Lee of Wilmington was reported missing after her dog returned without her from a morning walk in her neighborhood. Witness told police they heard a woman screaming and saw the driver of a red Hummer SUV put something into his vehicle. Later that day police in Wilmington stopped Smith, who was driving an SUV matching the vehicle’s description. Smith pled guilty but mentally ill to First Degree Murder, First Degree Rape, and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony.

A 21-year-old Wilmington man will spend 44 years in prison after being sentenced this morning in New Castle County Superior Court. Deputy Attorneys General Mark Denney and Caterina Gatto secured the sentence for Jermaine Booker, who was convicted in January of Assault First Degree, Home Invasion, Robbery First Degree, Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, Burglary Second Degree, and Misdemeanor Theft. Booker brutally beat a woman in the garage of her home in the 100 block of Cambridge Drive, in Windsor Hills in January 2014. Booker was arrested two days later when police stopped the victim’s car in Newark, New Jersey. The license plate on the vehicle was stolen from the home of a neighbor of the victim, and contained one of Booker’s fingerprints. The breakdown of the sentence is 25 years (maximum) for Assault First Degree, 6 years for Home Invasion, 5 years for Robbery First Degree, 5 years for Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, 3 years for Burglary Second. In addition, Judge Charles Butler made a special condition, stating on the anniversary of the attack, for the next 20 years, Booker will be placed in solitary confinement as a reminder of the violence he inflicted on the victim.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart secured a guilty plea and 13-year prison sentence for a 2015 bank robbery in Rehoboth Beach. Mark Smith, 28, of Ellendale pled guilty to Robbery 1st and Conspiracy 2nd in connection with the holdup of the Capitol One Bank in the Rehoboth Mall on Old Landing Road. Smith masterminded the heist, and drove the get-away vehicle after his brother Lamar handed a teller a note implying he was armed and demanding cash. Mark Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison as a habitual offender for the conspiracy charge. For the robbery, he was sentenced to 20 years at Level V, suspended after 3 years for 1year Level IV, followed by 5 years of Level III probation. Lamar Smith pled guilty in October 2015, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart resolved a case involving Lee Harper, 31, of Trappe, Maryland, who pled to Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, two counts of Reckless Endangering, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Driving Under the Influence. After a night of drinking in August 2015, Harper fired a shotgun into the door of a home in the 200 block of West 8th Street in Laurel. Harper’s girlfriend is the former girlfriend of the male resident of the home. Harper was sentenced to 3 years in prison and the successful completion of the Key Program, followed by two years Level III probation.

Deputy Attorney General Renee Hrivnak secured a plea from Christopher Szymanski, 45, of Wilmington, to charges of Felony Theft, Theft from a Senior, Forgery 2nd, and Crime Against a Vulnerable Adult. Throughout the spring and summer of 2015, Szymanski stole and forged checks from his mother and developmentally disabled brother. Szymanski is scheduled for sentencing in June.