Man Faces Life in Prison After Conviction on Dozens of Counts Including Murder

Other defendants face prison time for murder, weapons, rape, drug, DUI charges

A Kent County Superior Court jury convicted a Philadelphia man on 69 counts, including Murder First Degree, connected to a 2015 home invasion and fatal shooting. Deputy Attorneys General Lindsay Taylor and Jason Cohee secured the verdict for 33-year-old Abdul White. In August 2015, White and two others broke into a home in the 500 block of Walnut Street in Milford, armed with handguns and a pit bull. White and the others ordered nine people to lie on the living room floor and bound another on a couch. White then went to a bedroom and fatally shot the owner of the home, John Harmon, 40, in the head. Harmon was confined to a wheelchair as the result of being shot two years earlier. White, who was banned from having a firearm because of a prior gun conviction, was found guilty of Murder First Degree, Home Invasion, Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, 31 counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Kidnapping First Degree, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited, 8 counts of Kidnapping Second Degree, 10 counts of Reckless Endangering, 9 counts of Aggravated Menacing, Conspiracy Second Degree, Wearing a Disguise, and 3 counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Dwight Young from Milford Police Department was the Chief Investigating Officer, and DOJ social worker Esther Powell, DOJ paralegal Sue Balik, and DOJ administrative assistants Gina Chambers and Mandi Balke also assisted on the case. A Superior Court judge will sentence White to life in prison early next year.

A 22-year-old from Georgetown, MD will spend the next 20 years in prison for the murder of a Newark man. Jyaire Smith pled guilty in August to Murder Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Conspiracy Second Degree for the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Ira Hopkins of Newark. In July 2014, Smith and another man, Isaac LeCompte, armed with guns, approached a group of people outside of Hopkins’s home in the Village of Windhover Apartments in Newark. Smith and LeCompte ordered the group to the ground and fired several shots, killing Hopkins and injuring one of his friends. A Superior Court judge sentenced Smith to 20 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. LeCompte faces sentencing by a judge in December for his guilty plea to charges of Murder Second Degree, Robbery First Degree, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Assault First Degree. Deputy Attorneys General Daniel McBride and Sonia Augusthy prosecuted the case with assistance from lead Detective Justin Breslin of the New Castle County Police Department, DOJ social worker Donna Lindsey, and DOJ paralegal Stacey Coupe.

A 31-year-old Dagsboro man will spend a minimum of 25 years in prison for crimes, including rape and attempted murder that he committed against a series of women. Deputy Attorneys General Casey Ewart and Rebecca Anderson secured a guilty plea from Temourise Taylor on charges of Attempted Murder First Degree, Rape Second Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment First Degree, Strangulation, and Terroristic Threatening. Taylor, a serial rapist, would get women into his car, drive them to a secluded location, then rape them while threatening to kill them and/or physically beating them. In the summer of 2015, Taylor punched and strangled a woman who tried to resist his attack. During the summer of 2016 Taylor raped two women, physically beating one and threatening another by saying that he had a knife. In December 2016, Taylor stabbed his final victim after she resisted his attempt to rape her. When sentenced by a Superior Court judge in January 2018, Taylor faces a minimum sentence of 25 years, with a possible sentence of up to life plus 33 years in prison. Detective Mark Doughty of the Delaware State Police was the lead investigator, and was assisted by other Detectives in the Major Crimes Unit at Troop 4. DOJ social worker Carla Ennals, DOJ administrative specialist Angie Waters, and DOJ paralegal Veronica McKain also assisted in the successful resolution.

A 38-year-old New Castle man will spend 32 years in prison after a Superior Court judge declared him a habitual offender when sentencing him on drug and weapons offenses. Deputy Attorney General Amanda DiLiberto secured the sentence for Tyrik Spencer who was convicted after a jury trial in July on 2 counts of Drug Dealing, Aggravated Possession (Tier 5), 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. In September 2016, police stopped Spencer during a drug transaction where they found heroin. Officers then obtained a search warrant for Spencer’s home on Vista Court in New Castle and found more than 15.5 grams of heroin, a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and a loaded .9mm handgun. The judge sentenced Spencer to 32 years in prison, followed by 3 years of probation. DOJ paralegal Jessica Ascione assisted with the prosecution.

Deputy Attorney General Julie Johnson secured a prison sentence for a Milford man already registered as a sex offender when he pled guilty to Sex Offender Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Child in August. A Superior Court judge sentenced Eric Tindall, 58, to 15 years in prison followed by 1 year of home confinement, then 9 years of probation with GPS monitoring. In September 2016, members of the Child Predator Task Force investigated Tindall, already a Tier 2 sex offender for federal charges related to child pornography, for videotaping a young child wearing underwear. As a condition of his sentence, Tindall will register as a Tier 3 sex offender.

Deputy Attorney General Michael Tipton secured a prison sentence for Marcus Bennett, 54, of Milford, for his role in a car accident that killed another man. In September 2016, Bennett drove in the wrong direction on Route 1 in Milford. While in the area of North Pine Haven Road, Bennett’s car collided head-on with a vehicle driven by 28-year-old Charles Ballard III of Dover, who was pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of the accident, Bennett’s blood alcohol content was .218 and he had THC in his system. A Superior Court judge sentenced Bennett to 10 years in prison, followed by 1 year in a residential substance abuse treatment program, then 1 year of home confinement, and 1 year of probation. DOJ social worker Laurel Braunstein, DOJ administrative specialist Kelly Maiuri, and the Delaware State Police assisted with the prosecution.