Attacks on State Troopers and Dover Police Officers Lead to Prison Sentences

Other defendants face prison for murder, weapons, drug, and rape charges.

A 31-year-old Harrington man pled guilty and was sentenced in Superior Court on charges of Attempted Murder and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony related to his shooting at a Delaware State Trooper. In July 2016, Troopers responded to a call of a man with a gun at the Alder Run Apartments just south of Dover. Aaron Purnell, a man fitting the description, ran from the first Trooper to arrive, and as the officer gave chase, Purnell fired one shot at him but missed the Trooper. Troopers took Purnell into custody a short time later after finding him hiding in a nearby backyard. A Superior Court judge sentenced Purnell to 28 years in prison, followed by 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorney General Steve Welch prosecuted the case.

Guilty pleas to 6 felony offenses including Reckless Endangering and Possession of a Deadly Weapon during the Commission of a Felony led to a 7-year prison sentence for a Dover man. Deputy Attorney General Sean Motoyoshi secured the plea and sentence for 25-year-old Jamera Fisher. In October 2016, Dover Police received a tip that Fisher, wanted on an outstanding capias, had a gun with him. As officers tried to stop him as he got into his car, and while trying to evade capture, Fisher recklessly rammed his vehicle into multiple police cars nearly striking four officers. Police arrested Fisher after one officer shot him in the arm. Fisher pled guilty to 4 counts of Reckless Endangering First Degree, Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Superior Court judge immediately sentenced Fisher to 7 years in prison, followed by 18 months of probation.

A 20-year-old Wilmington man faces 35 years in prison for a 2015 murder in the city. Deputy Attorneys General Brian Robertson and Daniel McBride secured a guilty plea from Taushia Mitchell to Murder Second Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. In July 2015, Mitchell murdered 29-year-old James Rogers of Wilmington, shooting him in the head in Rogers’s home in the 500 block of West 5th Street. Mitchell was arrested a week later while sitting in the victim’s stolen car in New York City. A Superior Court judge will sentence Mitchell later this year, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 18 years in prison. Wilmington Police Detective Brian Conkey and DOJ paralegal Jaime Prater assisted with the case.

Deputy Attorney General Timothy Maguire secured a 17-year prison sentence for Nigel Campbell, 24, of Newark, for his conviction on weapons and drug charges. Acting on a tip in June 2016 that Campbell was selling drugs out of his home, members of the Delaware State Police Governor’s Task Force set up a surveillance in the parking lot of his apartment building on Kimberton Drive. Troopers took Campbell into custody, and found him with heroin and crack cocaine. A subsequent search of the apartment revealed additional heroin and cocaine as well as a loaded .380 caliber handgun. A Superior Court jury convicted Campbell, prohibited from having a gun because of a previous drug conviction, in March 2017 of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Drug Possession, Witness Intimidation, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited. A judge sentenced Campbell to 17 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation.

A 37-year-old Wilmington man will spend 20 years in prison for the rape of a teenager. Deputy Attorney General Jan van Amerongen secured the sentence for Jason Ramos. In July 2016, Ramos, a family acquaintance of the victim, was arrested following an investigation that began when a concerned citizen called New Castle County Police to report a suspicion of rape. Ramos pled guilty in March 2017 to Rape Second Degree, Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Sexual Solicitation of a Child. A Superior Court judge sentenced Ramos to 20 years in prison, followed by 2 years of probation. He must also register as a Tier 3 Sex Offender.