Home Invasion and Robbery Leads to Over 50 Years in Prison
Other defendants face prison time for child pornography, rape, drug, and weapons charges
A 51-year-old Dover man faces a minimum of 58 years in prison after his conviction for breaking into a home and assaulting and robbing the woman who lived there. Ronald Keis was convicted in a bench trial of Robbery First Degree, Home Invasion, and Assault Second Degree. In February 2017, Keis broke through the front door of a home on Hickory Dale Drive in Dover, then punched and kicked his 69-year-old victim while demanding money from her. Keis is a habitual offender with previous felony convictions on burglary, drug, assault, and escape charges and faces 58 years to life in prison when sentenced in January 2018. Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kelleher prosecuted the case with assistance from paralegal Sue Balik, social worker Esther Powell and administrative specialist Crystal Khan.
A 48-year old Wilmington man already registered as a Tier 2 sex offender has pled guilty plea to two counts of Attempted Dealing in Child Pornography. In March 2017, staff at the Woodlawn Library in Wilmington noticed Ralph O’Day looking at child pornography on a public access library computer. O’Day was told to leave the library, and then staff ran his browsing history and contacted police. O’Day, who has previous felony convictions for Rape Third Degree and Unlawful Sexual Contact, faces 16 years in prison when sentenced in by a Superior Court judge Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko secured the plea.
A woman working as a teacher at the Smyrna Middle School at the time of her arrest in June has pled guilty to 2 counts of Rape Fourth Degree. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson secured the plea from 38-year-old Karen Brooks of Dover. In May 2017, a 17-year-old boy who was listed as missing by police was found in Brooks’s car in Ocean City, MD. An investigation showed Brooks and the boy, who knew each other from his time he was in middle school, were involved in a sexual relationship. Further investigation showed Brooks had a sexual relationship with another student. Brooks faces 0 to 30 years in prison when sentenced in Superior Court in February 2018. DOJ social worker Lorraine Freese assisted with the case.
Michael Jessup, 44, of Wilmington, pled guilty to two counts of Dealing in Child Pornography and 5 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child in New Castle County Superior Court. In December 2016, members of the Department of Justice’s Child Protection Task Force executed a search warrant at Jessup’s home after receiving a tip from an internet service provider about pictures uploaded to a photo-sharing site. Jessup faces a minimum of 14 years in prison when sentenced by a Superior Court judge in January.
Deputy Attorney General Timothy Maguire secured felony convictions against a Newark man on drug and weapons charges. In a bench trial in Superior Court, a judge found Hakeem Watson, 25, guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited, Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Assault Second Degree, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. In February 2017, officers from Operation Safe Streets made a home visit to check on a man serving a home confinement sentence for a weapons conviction. When arriving at the home on North Lombard Street in Wilmington, they were met by Watson. Watson initially gave police a wrong name, and when they discovered it, placed him under arrest. During the attempt to detain Watson, he lunged at a police officer, head butting him in the cheek and leaving an injury. After he was in custody, officers conducted a search during which they found a loaded .45 caliber revolver and drugs. Watson, prohibited from having a gun because of previous felony convictions on weapons, drug, and assault charges, faces a minimum of 5 years in prison when sentenced by a judge. DOJ paralegal Caitlin Lynam assisted with the prosecution.