Multiple Murder Cases Resolved
A 21-year-old Wilmington man faces mandatory life in prison for the murder of 22-year-old Christian Serrano in 2016. Jose Moreta was found guilty of Murder 1st Degree, three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy 1st Degree, Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Reckless Endangerment 1st Degree, Criminal Trespassing 1st Degree, and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon. Gunshots were reported on March 2016 and responding Wilmington Police Department officers found Serrano in the 200 block of N. Connell Street with fatal gunshot wounds. Deputy Attorneys General Joseph Grubb and William Leonard secured the guilty verdict in a bench trial for Moreta on January 17, 2018. The Chief Investigating Officer Detective Bob Fox, Paralegal Jaime Prater, Special Investigator Willie Santiago, and Social Worker Jen Kutney all assisted with the prosecution of the case. Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2018.
Deputy Attorneys General Eric Zubrow and Phillip Casale secured a guilty plea from a 33-year-old Newark man who murdered his ex-girlfriend. In January 2017, Jerry Blankenship told New Castle County Police officers that he killed the victim in her apartment in the 700 block of Vinings Way in Newark. New Castle County officers went to apartment and found the victim with a fatal head wound in her bedroom. Blankenship pled guilty to Murder 2nd Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and faces up to a life sentence in prison. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Luis Cabrera was sentenced to two life sentences in prison without parole by a Superior Court judge on Friday for two murders in Wilmington 22 years ago. In 2001, Cabrera was convicted by a jury of the murders of Brandon Saunders and Vaughn Rowe, who were found shot in Rockford Park in January 1996, and he was sentenced to death. Before Cabrera’s postconviction proceedings were completed, the Delaware Supreme Court found the death penalty procedures unconstitutional. Because Cabrera was no longer subject to the death penalty, the Superior Court vacated his death sentences and imposed two life sentences. Cabrera’s convictions were affirmed.
A 31-year-old Dagsboro man was sentenced to 90 years in prison for crimes, including rape and attempted murder, that he committed against a series of women. Deputy Attorneys General Casey L. Ewart and Rebecca E. Anderson secured a guilty plea from Temourise Taylor to a charge of Attempted Murder 1st Degree, and the defendant pled no contest to Rape 2nd Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment 1st 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 the other by saying that he had a knife. In December 2016, Taylor stabbed his final victim after she resisted his attempt to rape her. A Superior Court judge sentenced Taylor to a total of 90 years in prison (60 years for Attempted Murder 1st Degree, 25 years for Rape 2nd Degree, and 5 years for Strangulation). Should he ever be released, Taylor would be placed on home confinement, followed by probation with GPS monitoring, for the Unlawful Imprisonment 1st Degree and Terroristic Threatening charges. While in prison he will have to complete sex offender treatment and anger management counseling, and Taylor is now a Tier 3 sex offender. Detective Mark Doughty of the Delaware State Police was the lead investigator, 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 prosecution.
Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kelleher prosecuted a case involving a break-in and assault against an elderly woman. Ronald Keis, 51, of Dover, was found guilty at a bench trial and sentenced by a Superior Court judge to a total of 68 years in prison for charges of Robbery 1st Degree, Home Invasion, and Assault 2nd Degree. In February 2017, Keis broke into an elderly woman’s home on Hickory Dale Drive in Dover and proceeded to assault and rob her.
A 41-year-old Wilmington man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the homicide of a New Castle woman. In July 2016, Martin L. Taylor was confronted by the victim, Whitney White, at his residence on the 2900 block of N. Market Street regarding missing items from a mutual acquaintance’s home. Taylor and White got into an altercation over the missing items which resulted in a fatal laceration to White’s neck. Taylor, a habitual offender, pled Guilty but Mentally Ill to Manslaughter and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During Commission of a Felony. Taylor was declared a habitual offender based on previous convictions of Assault 2nd Degree, Burglary 2nd Degree, and Distribution, Delivery, or Possession of a Controlled Substance Within 300 Feet of a Park. Deputy Attorney General Eric Zubrow secured the 45-year prison sentence for Taylor with assistance from Deputy Attorney General Andrew Vella, DOJ Social Worker Donna Lindsey, Paralegal Stacey Coupe, and Administrative Assistant Evelyn Davis.
Deputy Attorneys General Barzilai Axelrod and William Leonard, assisted by Paralegals Bridgitt Martin and Jessica Ascione, secured a prison sentence for a 31-year-old Wilmington man on drug charges. Tyrone Anderson, along with his co-defendants, were responsible for distributing heroin in 2016 in the Belvedere neighborhood of Wilmington. Between April and August of 2016, Detective Michelle Burrus, Detective John Mancuso, and other officers of the New Castle County Police Department conducted an investigation that included numerous undercover purchases of heroin from Anderson. Following a jury trial, a Superior Court judge sentenced Anderson on four counts of Drug Dealing Heroin and Conspiracy 2nd Degree to 20 years in prison followed by another year on his Violations of Probation. John Trotter, Marcus Jones, and Thomas Stegar are all scheduled to be sentenced in February 2018.
Jermaine Tingle, a habitual offender, faces a minimum mandatory 19 year prison sentence for drug dealing and related charges. Deputy Attorneys General Erika Flaschner and Allison Abessinio convicted Tingle, 39, of Wilmington in a jury trial before a Superior Court judge of two counts of Drug Dealing Heroin, two counts of Aggravated Possession, two counts of Conspiracy 2nd, Drug Dealing Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. This was a joint investigation by Delaware State Police and the Wilmington Police Department. Delaware State Police troopers searched one residence associated with Tingle while officers with the Wilmington Police Department searched a residence and vehicle associated with Tingle. The searches yielded over 1,300 bags of heroin and $23,077 cash. Tingle was declared a habitual offender based on felony convictions for Burglary 2nd Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Drug Dealing, and Conspiracy 2nd Degree, which influenced the minimum mandatory sentence. Wilmington Police Department Detective Justin Wilkers and DOJ Special Investigator Cliff Dempsey investigated the case.