Guilty Pleas In 3 Different Deaths

A 24-year-old Delmar woman will spend the next 15 years in prison for the murder of her child. Deputy Attorneys General Melanie Withers and Rebecca Anderson and Attorney General Matt Denn secured a guilty plea and sentence for Detoshia Spence. In April 2015, Spence reported finding her 3-year-old daughter dead on a couch in her home. Bruising on the child’s body, and other evidence led prosecutors to believe the child was repeatedly abused. Spence pled guilty to Murder by Abuse 2nd degree and to two counts of Child Abuse in the Second Degree. She was immediately sentenced by Superior Court Judge Scott Bradley to 15 years in prison, followed by 6 months of home confinement, then 2 years of probation.

Deputy Attorneys General Brian Robertson and Maria Knoll secured a guilty plea from Marcus Crews, 43, of Wilmington to Murder Second Degree and Robbery First Degree. In November 2014, Crews strangled a co-worker, Donald Smith, in Wilmington’s Eden Park while stealing the victim’s bicycle. In exchange for the plea, Crews agreed to a 35-year prison sentence recommendation. Crews will be sentenced by Superior Court Judge Richard Cooch in 2017.

Deputy Attorney General Danielle Brennan secured a plea from 42-year-old Susan Tompkins of Wilmington on charges of Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Death, and Driving Under the Influence. In December 2015, while driving through the intersection of West Ninth and North Lincoln streets in Wilmington, Tompkins’s car struck a pedestrian. Tompkins failed several field sobriety tests. The pedestrian, 59-year-old Joseph Smagala of Wilmington was taken to Christiana Care hospital where he died. Tompkins will be sentenced by Superior Court Judge Calvin Scott Jr. on January 20, 2017.

Deputy Attorney General Marc Petrucci secured a guilty plea and prison sentence for 26-year-old Keith Brandon of New Castle. In June 2016, members of the Delaware State Police Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at Brandon’s home on Booker Circle in New Castle, after observing him conduct a drug transaction. Inside Brandon’s room, police found 109.05 grams of heroin, 789.5 grams of marijuana, and almost $15,000 in cash. Brandon pled guilty to Drug Dealing Tier Four (Heroin) and was sentenced to 3 years in prison, followed by 1 year of probation. Brandon also forfeited the cash seized during arrest.