Two Defendants Face Prison Time for Causing Two Separate Fatal Crashes

A Maryland woman who caused a fatal crash while driving under the influence of drugs has been sentenced to prison. Deputy Attorneys General Barzilai Axelrod and William Leonard secured the sentence for Michelle Park, 35, of Earlville. In March 2018, with her 2-year-old child in the car, Park failed to negotiate a curve while driving on Bethel Church Road, crossed the center line, and collided head-on with a Ford Escape. Three people in the Escape were injured; one of them, a 73-year-old woman, later died from her injuries. In June 2019, Park pleaded guilty to Manslaughter, 2 counts of Assault First Degree, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (3rd Offense), and Failure to Use Proper Child Restraint. A Superior Court judge sentenced Park to 12 years and 3 months in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. DOJ social worker Kristen Fluharty-Emory and paralegal Jaevan Owens assisted with the prosecution. Corporal Joseph Aube of the Delaware State Police was the chief investigating officer.

A 41-year-old man faces prison time after pleading guilty to a crash that killed 2 people and seriously injured a third. In August 2018, Jeffrey Guseman, of Bear, crossed the double yellow line on Salem Church Road in Newark while illegally attempting to pass another vehicle, and crashed head-on into a Toyota Camry. The driver of the Camry survived, but both of his parents, who visiting Delaware from another country, were killed. Guseman pleaded guilty to 2 counts of Manslaughter and 1 count of Assault Second Degree and will be sentenced by a Superior Court judge in March of next year. Deputy Attorneys General Barzilai Axelrod and Erik Towne prosecuted the case. DOJ social worker Kristen Fluharty-Emory and paralegal Jaevan Owens assisted with the prosecution. Sergeant Dermot Alexander of the Delaware State Police was the chief investigating officer.


Man Convicted of Three Rapes Including Two Cold Cases Gets Life in Prison

Other defendants receive prison sentences for fatal shootings

Kili Mayfield, a man convicted of raping 3 women over the course of 7 years will spend the rest of his life in prison. Mayfield, 40, of Bear, was arrested in June 2018 after being linked to the raping, beating, and strangling of a woman and 2 other sexual assaults for rapes that occurred in 2010, 2014 and 2017. The prosecution occurred thanks to the federally-funded Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), through which the state Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Department of Justice, state Division of Forensic Science and law enforcement agencies are working to identify offenders by reviewing cases in which there were untested sexual assault kits. In a non-jury trial in July 2019, Mayfield was convicted of 4 counts of Rape First Degree, 4 counts of Rape Second Degree, and 1 count each of Kidnapping First Degree, Strangulation, and Assault Third Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Mayfield to life plus 127 years in prison. Deputy Attorneys General Eric Zubrow and Jillian Schroeder prosecuted the case.

A 25-year-old Wilmington man has been sentenced to prison for his role in a murder and robbery of a city business. In January 2017, Devonte Dorsett, along with a then 14-year-old accomplice, demanded cash from the clerk at the Lancaster Market in the 100 block of North Clayton Street. A struggle ensued, and Dorsett fatally shot 64-year-old Santanu Muhuri in the head. In May 2018, Dorsett pleaded guilty to Murder Second Degree, 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony and 1 count of Robbery First Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Dorsett to 35 years in prison. Dorsett’s accomplice pleaded guilty in February 2018 in Family Court to Criminally Negligent Homicide, Robbery First Degree, and Conspiracy Second Degree. A Judge sentenced him to 3 years in a juvenile detention facility followed by an aftercare program. The judge also extended jurisdiction over the juvenile until age 21 at the State’s request. Deputy Attorney General Daniel McBride prosecuted the case with paralegal Stacey Coupe and social worker Donna Lindsay. Detective Mackenzie Kirlin of the Wilmington Police Department led the investigation.

A 24-year-old Wilmington man pleaded guilty to the 2014 killing of a New Castle teenager. Deputy Attorneys General Martin Cosgrove, Rebecca Anderson, and Haley King secured the plea to Manslaughter and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony from Jacquez Robinson. In November 2014, Robinson shot and killed 18-year-old Malik Watson in the 100 block of West Ninth Street in New Castle. Robinson was arrested a week later after fleeing from the scene of a shooting near the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and North Franklin Street in Wilmington. A Superior Court judge immediately sentenced Robinson to ten 10 years in prison, followed by 2 years of probation. DOJ victim advocate Carla Ennals and paralegal Lisa Loikith assisted with the prosecution.


Delaware, Newark Manor Nursing Home Reach Settlement

This settlement resolves allegations that Newark Manor provided substandard and worthless care to residents of the nursing facility.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced today that the State of Delaware has reached an agreement with Newark Manor Nursing Home (also known as Premiere Healthcare, Inc.), its owner Bruce Boyer, administrator David Boyer and former administrator Susan Comegys, to settle allegations that Newark Manor: (1) provided substandard and worthless services to its residents; (2) inaccurately reported certain residents’ clinical conditions; (3) failed to provide adequate staffing to provide resident care; and (4) failed to prevent harm to its residents. Newark Manor is a privately owned for-profit intermediate care nursing facility in Newark and licensed by the State of Delaware.

“Elderly nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable citizens of Delaware. We are committed to holding facilities accountable and will not tolerate substandard care, or an unsafe environment, for residents of facilities. Today’s settlement holds Newark Manor and its owner responsible for the substandard care provided and sends a message that we will continue to hold facility owners responsible for resident care provided throughout Delaware,” said Attorney General Jennings.

The civil settlement resolves allegations that, from 2011 through 2017 Newark Manor:

    1. persistently failed to provide adequate nursing care including supervision to vulnerable residents of Newark Manor, causing falls, fractures, and other significant injuries;
    2. failed to meet the required daily care hours per resident;
    3. failed to act on monthly pharmacy recommendations, and supply prescribed medication to certain residents;
    4. failed to take steps so that residents were not burned by hot coffee, and failed to adequately treat burns;
    5. failed to maintain hygiene standards;
    6. failed to maintain effective strategies to prevent falls;
    7. failed to ensure that the resident environment was free of accident hazards; and
    8. created incorrect care plans for their residents.

Newark Manor and its owner have agreed to pay $381,000 to resolve this case with $175,000 going to the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance within the Department of Health and Social Services. Newark Manor’s owner will reinvest the remaining $206,000 into capital improvements at the facility that will enhance resident care. Additionally, Newark Manor will be subject to a two-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, which subjects Newark Manor, its owner and management, to extensive compliance obligations. The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will monitor Newark Manor’s compliance with the settlement terms.

Director Christina Kontis, Deputy Attorney General Laura Najemy, special investigator Paul Reutter, nurse analyst Brian Galbreath, all of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, along with forensic accountant Clyde Hartman of the White Collar Crime Unit, handled this case.


Racketeering Judgment Against Massage Parlor Owner; Murder Conviction in 2012 Cold Case

Prison time for other defendants on murder, weapons, racketeering, drug, and sexual abuse charges

The operator of a criminal enterprise run out of several massage parlors he owned throughout the state, was found liable of 3 violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (R.I.C.O.) statute. The State alleged that Da Zhong Wang, 55, formerly of Smyrna, profited from prostitution by owning and operating a series of brothels in Middletown, Smyrna, Dover and Rehoboth from 2010 to 2015. After a number of community complaints, Delaware State Police conducted sting operations at locations in Middletown and Rehoboth. Those resulted in a conviction of Wang on a count of permitting prostitution and Wang’s license was revoked by the Division of Professional Regulation. DOJ attorneys filed a civil suit against Wang alleging racketeering, the first of its kind in Delaware involving human trafficking. A civil trial earlier this year resulted in a finding by a Superior Court judge this week that Wang is liable for 3 RICO violations. Wang faces up to $100,000 in civil penalties for each of the three violations and with the State intending to seek the maximum available penalty of $300,000. Deputy Attorneys General Oliver Cleary and Zoe Plerhoples of the DOJ Civil Division led the case for the State. The court decision with more detail can be found here.

Kevin Miller, a man from Bear already serving a prison sentence for a Drug Dealing conviction in 2015, will spend the rest of his life in prison after being found guilty of the 2012 fatal shooting of Jeremiah McDonald, 30, of Bear. In July 2012, New Castle County Police found McDonald in the Sparrow Run development, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. After a lengthy investigation by New Castle County Police, the case was turned over the Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit. Reexamination of evidence and talking to witnesses led to the identification of Miller as the suspect. A Superior Court jury convicted Miller, 40, of Murder First Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Following the jury verdict, a Superior Court judge convicted Miller of Possession of a Firearm by Person Prohibited. Deputy Attorneys General Joseph Grubb and Beth Savitz prosecuted the case. Detective Brian Shahan and Retired Sergeant Glenn Davis of the New Castle County Police Department’s Cold Case Homicide Unit led the investigation. Also assisting with the prosecution were DOJ social worker Courtney Cochran, paralegal Stacey Coupe, and trial management analyst Ted Griffin. A sentencing date has not been set.

A 60-year-old Claymont man whose drug-induced hallucinations led him to shoot his ex-wife pleaded guilty to her murder. Deputy Attorneys General Matthew Frawley and Samuel Kenney secured the plea from Joseph Slider. In November 2018, Joseph Slider and Mary Ellen Slider, 59, of Folsom, PA, were together in Joseph Slider’s Claymont apartment. The two were using PCP and hallucinations had Joseph Slider believing the television program they were watching was real, and that Mary Ellen Slider was a character on the program who killed his character’s mother. Joseph Slider took his .22 caliber revolver and shot Mary Ellen Slider multiple times, including twice in the head, then called 9-1-1 to report the shooting. Joseph Slider pleaded guilty to Murder Second Degree and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Detective Eugene Reid of the New Castle County Police served as chief investigating officer, with DOJ social worker Jenn Kutney and paralegal Stacey Coupe also working on the prosecution. Slider will be sentenced by a Superior Court judge on a date to be determined in 2020.

Four men with commanding roles in a large scale heroin trafficking organization have pleaded guilty in Superior Court. The pleas from Walter Battle, 30, Darnell Farrare, 34, Darryl Grayson, 33, and Victor Fairley, 33, all of Wilmington, stem from a lengthy investigation led by Delaware State Police and the Delaware Department of Justice during the summer of 2018. Assistance was provided by numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies. The investigation culminated in the recovery of more than two kilos of heroin and fentanyl. All of the defendants pleaded guilty to Criminal Racketeering and Drug Dealing Tier 4. A judge immediately sentenced Battle to 12½ years in prison, followed by 18 months of probation. Farrare, Grayson, and Fairley will be sentenced by a judge in February. Deputy Attorneys General Cynthia Hurlock, Michael Cooksey, and Anna Currier prosecuted the cases with assistance from paralegals Meredith Parkinson and Julia Bacon.

A 26-year-old Laurel man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a child. Deputy Attorney General Casey L. Ewart secured the plea and sentence for Brandon Flood. In the spring of 2019, Flood initiated inappropriate sexual contact with a minor on more than one occasion. Flood pleaded guilty to Sexual Abuse by a Person in Position of Trust First Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Flood to 10 years in prison and the completion of the Transitions Sex Offender Program, followed by 1 year of either home confinement or work release, then 10 years of probation. Flood must also register as a Tier 3 sex offender. Detective Derek Cathell of the Delaware State Police Major Crimes Unit was the chief investigating officer, with DOJ social worker Carla Ennals and administrative specialist Angelique Waters part of the prosecution team.


Kidnapper of Elderly Couple Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

Others face prison on assault and resisting arrest charges

Steven Snell, the Millsboro man who kidnapped and robbed an elderly Rehoboth Beach couple has been sentenced to prison. In July 2018, Snell, 30, went to a home on Cornwall Road asking to use the phone. Once inside, Snell threatened the couple with a box cutter, then forced the victims into his car and drove to an ATM where he took money from their account. In August, Snell pleaded guilty to Kidnapping First Degree, 2 counts of Robbery First Degree, and 1 count each of Home Invasion, Assault Second Degree, and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony. Snell was sentenced by the Court to 20 years in prison, followed by 1 year of work release, then 2 years of probation. The work release and probation will include GPS monitoring. Deputy Attorney General Adam Gelof prosecuted the case.

A man who tried to avoid arrest by driving away from a traffic stop with a state trooper hanging onto his vehicle has been sentenced to prison. Deputy Attorney General John Donahue secured the sentence for 30-year-old Brandon Showell of Seaford. In June 2018, a trooper stopped Showell for running a stop sign, and as the trooper approached Showell’s SUV, Showell put it in gear and started to move. As the two struggled, Showell pushed the trooper from the vehicle, got out, and started to run, but the officer was able to take him into custody. In September 2019, Showell pleaded guilty to Assault Second Degree, Reckless Endangering, and Resisting Arrest with Force or Violence. A Superior Court judge sentenced Showell to 4 years in prison, followed by 6 months of work release, then 1 year of probation.

A 44-year-old Lincoln man received a prison sentence for assaulting a woman. In March 2019, Toussaint Jones began arguing with a woman who was staying with Jones and his wife. The argument turned physical, with Jones striking the woman in the face, causing an orbital fracture. In August, Jones pleaded guilty to Assault Second Degree. Jones was sentenced by a Superior Court judge to 3 years in prison including the completion of the Key substance abuse treatment program, followed by 18 months of probation with Key aftercare. Deputy Attorney General Jeffery McLane prosecuted the case with assistance from victim services specialist Monserrat Matos and paralegal Kristan Hudson.