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Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder in Milford

Criminal Division | Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | Date Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018



Others sentenced for murder, human trafficking, and robbery

A Superior Court judge sentenced a 33-year-old Philadelphia man to life plus more than 180 years in prison for Murder First Degree and 68 other charges including Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, and Kidnapping connected to a 2015 home invasion. In August 2015, Abdul White broke into a home in the 500 block of Walnut Street in Milford along with two other people, armed with handguns and a pit bull. Once inside, White and the others ordered 9 people to the floor and bound another on a couch. White then went into a bedroom where he shot and killed the owner of the home, 40-year-old John Harmon. Harmon, the victim of a shooting two years earlier, was confined to a wheelchair. In November 2017, a Superior Court jury convicted White, who was barred from having a gun because of a previous gun conviction. Deputy Attorneys General Lindsay Taylor and Jason Cohee prosecuted the case. 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 worked on the case.

A Smyrna man, who pled guilty to his wife’s murder before authorities recovered her remains, will spend the next 25 years in prison. A Superior Court judge sentenced Cortez Hamilton, 35, for his January 2018 guilty plea to Murder Second Degree. In January 2015, Hamilton’s 35-year-old wife Keisha was reported missing. A subsequent search of the Hamilton’s home showed a large amount of blood in an upstairs hallway. Hamilton fled to Indiana with his two young children, where Indiana State Police arrested him a few weeks later after a nationwide Amber Alert. As part of Hamilton’s plea agreement, he provided information that led police to the discovery of Keisha’s remains near Smyrna. A Superior Court judge sentenced Hamilton to 25 years in prison, followed by 1 year of work release then 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorneys General Stephen Welch and Lindsay Taylor prosecuted the case with assistance from paralegal Sue Balik, social worker Esther Powell, special investigator Pete Fraley, and support staff Donna Harris and Gina Chambers. The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit, with special recognition to Sergeant David Weaver, conducted the investigation.

A 23-year-old Dover man was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to the sex trafficking of two teenagers. In the spring of 2017, Patterson Green met two 15-year-old girls who had run away from the Murphey School, a group home facility in Dover. Green arranged for the girls to have sex with several different partners in exchange for a place to live. An investigation began after the arrest of one of the girls for shoplifting in Salisbury, MD. Green pled guilty to Rape Fourth Degree and Trafficking an Individual, with a Superior Court judge immediately sentencing him to 20 years in prison, followed by 1 year of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson prosecuted the case with the help of social worker Lorraine Freese and the FBI through Agent Chris Lake and social worker Elisa Lehman. Michael Weinstein of the Delaware State Police was the chief investigating officer.

A 31-year-old Middletown man received a sentence of 90 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Dover gas station. In June 2016, Jamar Waters pointed a pistol at two employees of a gas station in the 400 block of North Dupont Highway, and demanded money. A Superior Court jury convicted Waters of 2 counts of Robbery First Degree, and one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. In a concurrent bench trial, Waters, barred from having a gun because of previous convictions for weapons, assault, and robbery charges, was found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. Deputy Attorneys General Stephen Smith and Lindsay Taylor prosecuted the case, with Detective Christopher Peer of Dover PD as the lead investigator, and work by Paralegal Sue Balik, Social Workers Esther Powell and Kerry McElwee, and Administrative Assistant Sam Huey, among many others.

Deputy Attorneys General Amanda Nyman and Kevin Gardner secured a prison sentence for a Dover man who conspired with a group of people, including the 64-year-old victim’s then 19-year-old girlfriend, to commit a home invasion robbery. In October 2016, Stephen Wheeler, along with two other men, entered the victim’s home on Parkview Street in Millville, looking for drugs and money. The suspects beat the victim, leaving him with numerous injuries including 7 broken ribs and a broken nose, and tied him up before ransacking the house and stealing cell phones, a computer, and iPads. An investigation showed the victim’s girlfriend conspired with Wheeler and the others, even leaving the rear door of the home unlocked. In March 2018, Wheeler was convicted in a bench trial of Home Invasion, Robbery First Degree, Assault Second Degree, and Conspiracy Second Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Wheeler to 13 years in prison followed by 8 years of probation. Lauren Melton, 20, of Frederica, the victim’s girlfriend, pled guilty in April 2017 to Criminal Trespassing First Degree, Conspiracy Third Degree, Theft Less Than $1,500, and Assault Third Degree and faces sentencing in May. Jerome Wheeler, 26, of Smyrna, pled guilty in November 2017 to Robbery First Degree and Conspiracy Second Degree, and sentenced by a judge to 3 years in prison followed by 1 year of probation. The third man involved in the break in has not been located or arrested.

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Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder in Milford

Criminal Division | Department of Justice | Department of Justice Press Releases | Date Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018



Others sentenced for murder, human trafficking, and robbery

A Superior Court judge sentenced a 33-year-old Philadelphia man to life plus more than 180 years in prison for Murder First Degree and 68 other charges including Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, and Kidnapping connected to a 2015 home invasion. In August 2015, Abdul White broke into a home in the 500 block of Walnut Street in Milford along with two other people, armed with handguns and a pit bull. Once inside, White and the others ordered 9 people to the floor and bound another on a couch. White then went into a bedroom where he shot and killed the owner of the home, 40-year-old John Harmon. Harmon, the victim of a shooting two years earlier, was confined to a wheelchair. In November 2017, a Superior Court jury convicted White, who was barred from having a gun because of a previous gun conviction. Deputy Attorneys General Lindsay Taylor and Jason Cohee prosecuted the case. 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 worked on the case.

A Smyrna man, who pled guilty to his wife’s murder before authorities recovered her remains, will spend the next 25 years in prison. A Superior Court judge sentenced Cortez Hamilton, 35, for his January 2018 guilty plea to Murder Second Degree. In January 2015, Hamilton’s 35-year-old wife Keisha was reported missing. A subsequent search of the Hamilton’s home showed a large amount of blood in an upstairs hallway. Hamilton fled to Indiana with his two young children, where Indiana State Police arrested him a few weeks later after a nationwide Amber Alert. As part of Hamilton’s plea agreement, he provided information that led police to the discovery of Keisha’s remains near Smyrna. A Superior Court judge sentenced Hamilton to 25 years in prison, followed by 1 year of work release then 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorneys General Stephen Welch and Lindsay Taylor prosecuted the case with assistance from paralegal Sue Balik, social worker Esther Powell, special investigator Pete Fraley, and support staff Donna Harris and Gina Chambers. The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit, with special recognition to Sergeant David Weaver, conducted the investigation.

A 23-year-old Dover man was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to the sex trafficking of two teenagers. In the spring of 2017, Patterson Green met two 15-year-old girls who had run away from the Murphey School, a group home facility in Dover. Green arranged for the girls to have sex with several different partners in exchange for a place to live. An investigation began after the arrest of one of the girls for shoplifting in Salisbury, MD. Green pled guilty to Rape Fourth Degree and Trafficking an Individual, with a Superior Court judge immediately sentencing him to 20 years in prison, followed by 1 year of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson prosecuted the case with the help of social worker Lorraine Freese and the FBI through Agent Chris Lake and social worker Elisa Lehman. Michael Weinstein of the Delaware State Police was the chief investigating officer.

A 31-year-old Middletown man received a sentence of 90 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Dover gas station. In June 2016, Jamar Waters pointed a pistol at two employees of a gas station in the 400 block of North Dupont Highway, and demanded money. A Superior Court jury convicted Waters of 2 counts of Robbery First Degree, and one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. In a concurrent bench trial, Waters, barred from having a gun because of previous convictions for weapons, assault, and robbery charges, was found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. Deputy Attorneys General Stephen Smith and Lindsay Taylor prosecuted the case, with Detective Christopher Peer of Dover PD as the lead investigator, and work by Paralegal Sue Balik, Social Workers Esther Powell and Kerry McElwee, and Administrative Assistant Sam Huey, among many others.

Deputy Attorneys General Amanda Nyman and Kevin Gardner secured a prison sentence for a Dover man who conspired with a group of people, including the 64-year-old victim’s then 19-year-old girlfriend, to commit a home invasion robbery. In October 2016, Stephen Wheeler, along with two other men, entered the victim’s home on Parkview Street in Millville, looking for drugs and money. The suspects beat the victim, leaving him with numerous injuries including 7 broken ribs and a broken nose, and tied him up before ransacking the house and stealing cell phones, a computer, and iPads. An investigation showed the victim’s girlfriend conspired with Wheeler and the others, even leaving the rear door of the home unlocked. In March 2018, Wheeler was convicted in a bench trial of Home Invasion, Robbery First Degree, Assault Second Degree, and Conspiracy Second Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Wheeler to 13 years in prison followed by 8 years of probation. Lauren Melton, 20, of Frederica, the victim’s girlfriend, pled guilty in April 2017 to Criminal Trespassing First Degree, Conspiracy Third Degree, Theft Less Than $1,500, and Assault Third Degree and faces sentencing in May. Jerome Wheeler, 26, of Smyrna, pled guilty in November 2017 to Robbery First Degree and Conspiracy Second Degree, and sentenced by a judge to 3 years in prison followed by 1 year of probation. The third man involved in the break in has not been located or arrested.

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