Bank Robbery Leads to 50 Year Prison Sentence
Others face prison time for weapons, robbery, and child pornography charges
A 46-year-old man from Bear was sentenced to 50 years in prison for a 2011 bank robbery in Kent County which resulted in a police pursuit and gunfire. Deputy Attorneys General Susan Schmidhauser and Ben Snyder secured the sentence for Russell Grimes, who was convicted at trial in November 2016 of Robbery First Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited and 5 counts of Reckless Endangering 2nd. In August 2011, Grimes, and his co-defendant William Sells, conspired together to commit a bank robbery at the First National Bank of Wyoming in the 100 block of Irish Hill Road in Felton. The co-defendant, Sells, went into the bank, displayed a gun, and threatened to shoot the employees if he didn’t get money. Grimes drove the get-away vehicle and led the police on a 16 mile high speed chase through western Kent County. While State Police chased the SUV, Sells fired a number of shots, striking multiple police cruisers. The SUV eventually crashed and the two suspects ran, with Grimes being shot in the ankle by a Trooper. Superior Court Judge Robert Young sentenced Grimes to the minimum mandatory sentence of 50 years. Sells pled guilty and was sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison, followed by 2 years of probation for his role in the robbery.
Deputy Attorney General Zachary Rosen secured a guilty verdict for Karl Manuel, 54, of Wilmington in a bench trial before Superior Court Judge Ferris Wharton. In May 2016, officers found Manuel with a loaded .380 caliber handgun and a plastic bag holding crack cocaine after a traffic stop on North Monroe Street that led to a search. Manuel, previously deemed a habitual offender as a result of his criminal convictions, was convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited, Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, and Driving Without a Seatbelt. Manuel faces 23 years to life in prison when sentenced in March.
Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko obtained a guilty plea from Michael Newton, 36, of Newark for Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Reckless Endangering First Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Assault First Degree, and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon. Newton was arrested in December 2015 for three separate shootings. In September 2015, Newton shot a man in the face in the 500 block of East Ninth Street in Wilmington. On December 3, 2015, he shot a man in the hand at the Motel 6 on Route 273 in Newark, and on December 20th, shot a man in the arm in the 1000 block of West Fourth Street in Wilmington. The State will file a petition to declare Newton a habitual offender. He faces a minimum mandatory 22 years in prison when sentenced by Judge Richard Cooch in March.
Deputy Attorneys General Steve Welch and Ben Snyder secured a prison sentence for a 21-year-old Dover man for his part in a robbery that turned fatal. Bruce Manlove, Jr. pled guilty last November to charges of Robbery First Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. In May 2015, Manlove, along with 20-year-old Damier Harmon, attempted to rob 19-year-old Gary Adams in the Walker Woods neighborhood in Dover during a marijuana transaction. The three began to fight, and Adams was shot. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clark sentenced Manlove to 15 years in prison. Harmon, who pled guilty to Murder Second Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, faces 18 years to life in prison when he is sentenced.
Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko secured a guilty plea from Robert Vasecka, 46, of Newark, to two counts of Dealing in Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography. In September 2016, a public internet chat room reported that one of its users uploaded suspected images of child pornography. The Child Predator Task Force sought subscriber information for the account, which came back to Robert Vasecka. At the time of his arrest, Vasecka was employed as an officer with the New Castle County Division of Police. Vasecka faces 4 to 53 years in prison when sentenced by Judge William Carpenter in March.