Carjacker to Spend at Least 50 Years in Prison

Other defendants, including local gang member, face significant prison time for drug, rape, and weapons charges.

A Rehoboth Beach man faces 50 years to life in prison after his conviction for the robbery and carjacking of a 64-year-old man. Deputy Attorney General Amanda Nyman secured convictions for Carjacking First Degree, Robbery First Degree, and Offensive Touching from a Superior Court jury for 49-year-old Elton Pumphrey. In November 2016, Pumphrey approached a man preparing to get in his car on West Springside Drive in Milton. As the man got in his car, Pumphrey jumped in the passenger seat, had the man drive a few blocks, then grabbed the keys from the ignition. While grabbing his victim’s face, Pumphrey told the man he was going to rob him, but when the man said he had no money, Pumphrey got into the driver’s seat and took off in the car. Previously declared a habitual offender because of several felony convictions including assaults, robberies, and escapes, Pumphrey faces sentencing by a judge in August.

Deputy Attorney General Adam Gelof secured a guilty plea to Robbery Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Wearing a Disguise, and Conspiracy Second Degree from Marcel Matthews, 22 of Millsboro. In February 2017, Matthews and another man, while wearing facemasks, approached their victim as he walked along Albury Avenue in Georgetown, and robbed him at gunpoint. After taking the victim’s wallet, Matthews struck the victim in the head with a gun. Matthews faces 11 years to life in prison when sentenced by a Superior Court judge in August.

Deputy Attorney General Barzilai Axelrod secured a conviction in a jury trial against Denzel Nickerson, 26, of Wilmington, for Drug Dealing (Tier 2 Heroin), Aggravated Possession (Tier 2 Heroin), and Resisting Arrest. In October 2016, Nickerson, while running from members of the Delaware State Police Governor’s Task Force, threw a bag containing 325 baggies of heroin, under a car. Troopers apprehended Nickerson and located the drugs. Nickerson, a habitual offender due to previous felony convictions on drug and weapons charges, faces the possibility of life in prison when sentenced by a Superior Court judge in August.

A Superior Court judge sentenced Mark Bartell, 51, of Cheswold to 24 years in prison for raping his wife then attempting to have her killed. Deputy Attorneys General Denise Weeks-Tappan and Stephen Smith prosecuted the case in which a jury convicted Bartell in March on two counts of Rape Second Degree, one count of Rape Fourth Degree, and two counts of Criminal Solicitation. Bartell raped his wife in her bedroom the morning after an argument in November 2015. After Bartell’s arrest and incarceration, he spoke to other inmates and tried to hire them to kill his wife. Bartell was sentenced to 24 years in prison, followed by 6 months of home confinement or work release, then 3 years of probation. Bartell must also register as a Tier 3 sex offender.

A 54-year-old Wilmington man, already on probation, now faces 4 to 66 years in prison after his conviction for an assault that left his victim’s face and head slashed. Deputy Attorneys General Joe Grubb and Rebecca Song secured the conviction against Relando Maxwell in Superior Court. In August 2016, Maxwell slashed a man during an argument over money owed for a pet sitting job. A jury convicted Maxwell of Assault Second Degree, Aggravated Menacing, 2 counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited. Maxwell, who was prohibited from having a weapon because of previous felony convictions including Murder Second Degree, also faces violations of probation for Murder Second Degree, Theft of a Senior and Unlawful Use of a Credit Card. A Superior Court judge will sentence Maxwell in August.

A 21-year-old member of the Shoot to Kill (STK) gang will spend the next 10 years in prison after a Superior Court judge sentenced him for being caught with guns twice within a 6-month span. Deputy Attorney General John Taylor secured the sentence for Tyreek Ducette, 21, of Dover. In November 2016, Ducette was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding on Broom Street in Wilmington. During a search of the vehicle, officers saw a gun in the pocket of the door next to where Ducette sat. Ducette ran from the officers, who were able to take him into custody after a brief struggle. In May, a jury convicted Ducette of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, as well as a similar charge from another case at the same time. Ducette is prohibited from having a gun because of previous felony convictions for weapons, burglary, and conspiracy charges.