Guilty Verdict in Wilmington Murder Trial
Assault and weapons charges, bank robberies lead to convictions, prison time in other cases
A New Castle County Superior Court jury found a 22-year-old Wilmington man guilty on all charges today, in connection with a 2015 murder in Wilmington. Deputy Attorneys General Brian Robertson and Dan McBride won the conviction against Atiba Mayfield on charges of Murder First Degree, two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy First Degree, and Reckless Endangering First Degree. In April 2015, 19-year-old Raekwon Mangrum of Wilmington was shot multiple times outside of a home in the 200 block of North Monroe Street. An 18-year-old woman who was with Mangrum was shot in the leg. After the shootings, Wilmington Police pursued Mayfield and his accomplice on a high speed chase through city streets onto I-95 and into Pennsylvania before arresting the pair. Mayfield faces life in prison when sentenced by the court.
Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko secured a conviction for David Buckham, 25, of Wilmington after a jury trial for Assault First Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited, Aggravated Menacing, and Conspiracy Second Degree. In August 2015, Buckham fired a gun from an SUV in a drive-by shooting in the 700 block of West Street in Wilmington, striking a 32-year-old man in the upper torso. Buckham was arrested two months later after the investigation led officials to find him in Bellmawr, New Jersey. Buckham is scheduled for sentencing in September, and faces 13-80 years in prison.
A 47-year old Wilmington man faces 25 years in prison after his guilty plea in connection with two bank robberies. Deputy Attorney General Phillip Casale secured a plea from William Winchester to one count of Robbery First Degree, one count of Robbery Second Degree, and a Violation of Probation stemming from a prior Robbery First Degree conviction. In November 2015, Winchester went into the M&T Bank branch in the 1200 block of North Union Street in Wilmington, and gave the teller a note indicating he had a gun. He received an undisclosed amount of cash and left the bank. A few days later, he provided a similar note to a teller at the WSFS branch inside the Safeway supermarket at Foulk and Naamans Roads in North Wilmington. He will be declared habitual for the second time, and faces a minimum of 25 years in prison when sentenced by the court in August.
Deputy Attorney General Caterina Gatto secured a prison sentence for Lavar Jackson, 26, of Newark, following Jackson’s plea to two Counts of Drug Dealing in Heroin and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. After a months-long drug investigation, Jackson was arrested in September 2015, charged with selling heroin. After his arrest, police searched a unit at a storage facility in Newark, and found several guns. Jackson was sentenced to seven years in prison, followed by probation.
Deputy Attorney General Zach George secured a conviction for Daniel Eyster, 37, of Camden, DE, for Attempted Murder and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. During an argument in September 2015, Eyster hit his girlfriend in the head with a hammer causing a serious head injury and leading to several surgeries. Eyster faces 17 years to life in prison when sentenced by the court in August.
Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson secured a prison sentence for Edward Wescott, 22, of Georgetown for Rape Second Degree. In October 2014, Wescott contacted the 16-year-old pretending to be another person. Wescott’s text messages became sexual before revealing that he was “catfishing” the victim and demanding nude photos in exchange for not posting the texts on the internet. The victim complied, but the Wescott demanded sex from her. Wescott pled guilty and was sentenced by Judge Robert Young to 25 years in prison, suspended after serving 12 years and the completion of a sex offender program, followed by 2 years of Level III probation. Wescott must also register as a Tier 3 sex offender.
Deputy Attorney General Michael DegliObizzi secured an eight-year prison sentence for Anthony Rojas, 27, of New Castle, on Drug Dealing Heroin in a Tier 4 amount. Rojas was sentenced as a habitual offender because of previous drug and weapons charges. In July 2015, Rojas was arrested for violating his probation on a Drug Dealing conviction. Upon his arrest, a search of his home in the 200 block of Keiser Place turned up a large amount of heroin and marijuana. In addition to the 8 years in prison, the court suspended the remaining 3 years of Rojas’ VOP sentence for 6 months at Level IV, followed by 18 months of Level III probation, and 1 year of probation for the marijuana possession charge.
A 36-year-old Felton man will spend 20 years in prison in connection with the rape of a teenager. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson secured the sentence for Derek Basnight, who previously pled guilty to Rape Second Degree, and two counts of Rape Fourth Degree. In 2014, Basnight raped a girl temporarily living in his home with family members. The court sentenced Basnight to 55 years in prison, suspended after 20 years, followed by six months at Level IV work release, then one year of Level III probation. Basnight must also register as a Tier 3 sex offender.