Lengthy Prison Sentence for Rape of 2 Children

Other defendants face prison for murder, assault, drug, and weapons charges

The repeated sexual abuse of 2 children has led to a prison sentence of more than 100 years for a New Castle man. For a period of almost 3 years beginning in January 2014, Melvin Finney, 57, sexually assaulted 2 children in his care. A Superior Court judge convicted Finney in a bench trial in May 2019 of Rape First Degree, Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, 3 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust First Degree, and 2 counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact First Degree. The judge sentenced Finney to 115 years in prison. Deputy Attorney General Diana Dunn prosecuted the case with assistance from social worker Claudia Melton. Sgt. Jeff Maguire of the New Castle County Police was the chief investigating officer.

A 38-year-old Newark man was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Sherrie Campbell, 34, of Newark. Deputy Attorneys General Joseph Grubb and Danielle Brennan secured the sentence for Rondell Veal. In September 2017, Newark Police were called to check on the welfare of Sherrie after she failed to pick up her son at day care. Police ultimately found Campbell’s body inside of her locked and barricaded home, and discovered she had been stabbed multiple times. Veal, who fled to New York after the murder, was ultimately located and arrested by the Newark Police Department. Veal pleaded guilty but mentally ill in April 2019 to Murder Second Degree and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. A Superior Court judge sentenced Veal to 33 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. DOJ paralegals Wendy Wilkinson and Jaime Prater assisted with the prosecution, along with investigator Guillermo Santiago. The case was investigated by Detective Daniel Bystricky of the Newark Police Department.

A Wilmington man who stabbed his mother, 1-year-old niece, the child’s mother, and fatally stabbed another man, was found guilty but mentally ill on numerous charges. In a bench trial, a Superior Court judge convicted 34-year-old Chaon Calhoun of Murder First Degree, Attempted Murder First Degree, 2 counts of Assault First Degree, 4 counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, and 1 count of Possession of a Deadly Weapon by a Person Prohibited. In April 2018, Calhoun was in his mother’s home in the 2100 block of North Washington Street in Wilmington, where his brother’s girlfriend and daughter also resided. As Calhoun tried to force his way in to the child’s bedroom, he began to stab Andrew Moore, 24, a friend who was visiting. He also stabbed the child multiple times in the head while she was in her mother’s arms. The child’s mother also suffered stab wounds to her hand. Moore and Calhoun’s mother were able to intervene but not before Calhoun stabbed his mother in the head, and Moore was fatally stabbed in the neck and arm. Deputy Attorneys General Periann Doko and Jillian Schroeder prosecuted the case with assistance from social worker Jennifer Kutney, paralegal Stacey Coupe, and chief investigator John Ciritella. The investigation was led by Sgt. Robert Fox of the Wilmington Police Department.

A Dagsboro man already on probation for Aggravated Menacing and Reckless Endangering has pleaded guilty to Drug Dealing and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. In January 2019, Probation & Parole Officers conducted an administrative search at the home of David Tharp, 52, after tests during his office visits showed traces of methamphetamine. Once inside Tharp’s home, officers found 14.49 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun. A Superior Court judge sentenced Tharp to 5 years in prison followed by 18 months of probation. Deputy Attorney General Georgia Pham prosecuted the case.