Two Men Indicted for 2013 Murder for Hire

A New Castle County grand jury handed up indictments against 44-year-old Ryan Shover of York, PA, and 51-year-old Michael Kman of Enola, PA on Jan. 19, 2016, in connection with the 2013 death of 43-year-old Wayne Cappelli of Claymont. Both are charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy, and Insurance Fraud.

Cappelli was found dead on February 18, 2013 in the brush off the road of the 2100 block of Delaview Avenue in Silvercroft in Brandywine Hundred, with severe blunt force trauma to his body.

An investigation uncovered Cappelli obtained a large life insurance policy as recently as three months before the incident, naming an acquaintance as beneficiary. As the investigation continued, detectives were able to determine that this murder investigation was likely a planned murder for the collection of the life insurance money.

The investigation was a multi-agency effort led by Sergeant Tom Orzechowski of the New Castle County Police along with the Department of Justice, and included the FBI, the East Pennsboro Township Police, and the York Regional Police Departments in Pennsylvania.

“We appreciate the hard work and cooperation of everyone involved in this case, knowing how difficult it is to bring justice to those responsible in cold cases” said Attorney General Matt Denn.” Thanks to the tireless work of the police agencies involved, along with our team from the Department of Justice we were able to do just that for the family of Mr. Cappelli.”

“This is another example of our detectives working relentlessly on cases, even as complex as this one,” said Colonel Elmer Setting, Chief of the New Castle County Police. “Their tireless efforts have helped bring those accountable for this murder to justice along with closure to the family and friends of Mr. Cappelli. Our Criminal Investigation Unit, with critical support from the office of the Attorney General, continues to make arrests in these major investigations.”

“As I have said before, and let me be clear, if you commit murder in New Castle County, we will find you and ensure that justice is served.”

Mr. Shover is being held at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington. Mr. Kman is in custody in Pennsylvania awaiting sentencing on unrelated charges, and will return to Delaware after those proceedings.

Six Individuals Indicted In Five Homicides

Grand jury hands up indictments in 2010 Wilmington cold case, 2014 Village of Windhover shooting, 2015 Vandever Avenue shooting, 2015 Rodney Square stabbing, 2015 Hockessin murder victim found in car.

Six defendants were indicted by a New Castle County grand jury on Monday, December 21 in five homicide cases, including three murders from 2015, one from 2014, and what had been a cold case from 2010. Department of Justice prosecutors do not recall ever having indictments in five homicide cases in a single day.

“Justice is being pursued in all five of these cases – some from this year and some older — because of the unending efforts of our prosecutors and of the police agencies that serve these communities,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “Their tireless efforts go a long way to help make our neighborhoods, cities, and state safer.”

One case dates back to 2010, and was solved through the combined efforts of the Wilmington Police Department’s Cold Case Unit and the Department of Justice Homicide Unit. During an argument in the 600 block of South Franklin Street in May 2010, Erik McNeely, 35, of Newark, fired three shots, killing Abel Flores. McNeely faces one count of first degree murder, and two counts of attempted murder.

“Sometimes people think a cold case must be solved with new technology or tests, but this case was able to be solved after five years because of the help and cooperation of witnesses. Through the relentless efforts of Wilmington Police Sergeant Matt Hall, Cold Case Investigator Partlow and Special Agent Ronnie Hnat, we were finally able to give answers to the Flores family,” said DOJ homicide unit head and deputy attorney general Ipek Medford. “We need our community to help us piece together cases. This case is an example that we need witnesses to tell what happened and bring justice, and not just forensic evidence like TV shows might have the public believe. ”

“I appreciate the hard work of everyone in our Cold Case Unit, and all of the agencies we work alongside, for keeping this case alive for five years,” said Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings. “We will continue to work with the Department of Justice to bring cases like this to closure for the families of homicide victims.”

Two men, Isaac LeCompte, 22, of New Castle, and 20-year-old Jyaire Smith of Georgetown, Maryland were indicted in a second case, in connection with the death of Ira Hopkins in July 2014. Hopkins and friends were celebrating his birthday outside of his home in the Village of Windhover Apartments on Sandburg Place in Newark, when LeCompte and Smith approached with guns and ordered them to the ground. The two fired several shots, killing Hopkins and injuring one of his friends. LeCompte and Smith each face two counts of first degree murder (felony murder and intentional murder), one count of attempted murder, seven counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, four counts of robbery, one count of conspiracy, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

“New Castle County Detectives have worked tirelessly on this case since this tragic incident occurred. From the initial response, the collection of evidence, conducting interviews and the process of preparing the case for the arrest and trial, every effort was made to ensure those responsible were brought to justice,” said Colonel Elmer Setting, Chief of the New Castle County Police Department. “Each of these cases is critically important and we are grateful for the on-going collaboration between the New Castle County Police Department and Delaware Attorney General’s office. If you commit murder in New Castle County, regardless of the length of time that has passed, our detectives and Cold Case investigators will remain relentless until they arrest those responsible for these heinous acts and hold them accountable for their actions,” Setting said.

In a third case, the man charged with stabbing Thomas Cottingham to death on Rodney Square in September 2015 was indicted on several charges. Calvin Hooker, 25, of Wilmington killed Cottingham, as Cottingham stepped in to protect a woman Hooker confronted along Market Street. Hooker was indicted for first degree murder, two counts of possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of resisting arrest, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and aggravated menacing.

In a fourth case, Hakiem Anderson, 31, of Wilmington was indicted on charges of first degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited in the fourth case. Anderson shot and killed Markevis Clark in the 800 block of Vandever Avenue in Wilmington in August 2015, after a brief argument.

The fifth homicide case indicted on December 21st, is that of Benjamin Rauf, 26, of Westerlo, New York. Rauf was arrested in connection with the Auguest killing of Shazim Uppal, who was found dead after being shot multiple times while sitting in his parked car in Hockessin. Rauf was indicted on two counts of first degree murder (felony murder and intentional murder), possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and first degree robbery.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Man Wanted for Fatal Wilmington Shooting Arrested in New York

Wilmington Police and the Delaware Department of Justice have announced the arrest of Taushia Mitchell, 18, of Wilmington the person believed responsible for the July 23rd homicide of James Rogers, 29, of Wilmington, in a home in the 500 block of West 4th Street in Wilmington.

After an extensive investigation involving the Wilmington Police Department, the Delaware Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Taushia Mitchell was arrested in New York City. Mitchell is being held on charges relating to the theft of the homicide victim’s vehicle.

Further investigation by the Wilmington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division led to the State of Delaware Department of Justice authorizing arrest warrants for Mitchell for charge of Murder in the First Degree late this afternoon. Mitchell is expected to face extradition next week from New York to Delaware.

Two Indictments and Arrests in Two Separate Sussex Child Deaths

The Delaware State Police and the Delaware Department of Justice have announced the indictment and arrest of two women in Sussex County believed to be responsible for the deaths of children in two separate cases. Both were indicted by a grand jury on Monday and have been arrested.

Valorie Handy, 51 of Millsboro, was indicted Monday, July 27, 2015 on one charge of Murder by Abuse or Neglect 1st Degree in the death of a 10-month old victim in her daycare in January. The case had been ruled a homicide.

On Wednesday January 28, 2015 around 2:15 p.m., troopers were dispatched to Handy’s Little Disciples daycare located at 28194 Layton-Davis Road after a 9-1-1 call was received from the home stating a 10 month old was unresponsive. Preliminary investigation suggests a daycare worker attempted to wake the 10 month old male from a nap, and upon doing so, observed the infant unresponsive. The young child was transported by EMS to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes where he was eventually pronounced dead.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Handy was taken into custody near her residence and presented before the Sussex County Superior Court and was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of $100,000 cash bond.

Detoshia Spence, 23, of Laurel was indicted on Monday, July 27, 2015 on the following charges: Murder by Abuse or Neglect 1st degree, 2 counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 2 counts of Child Abuse 2nd, and Offensive Touching in the death of her 3-year old daughter in April.

The preliminary investigation started on Friday, April 17, 2015, at approximately 7:17 p.m., after a call was received by the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center reporting CPR in progress. The Laurel Police Department, Laurel Fire Department, and Sussex County Paramedics were dispatched to the 900 block of Daniel Street, Carvel Gardens Laurel, DE. The victim was turned over to the Division of Forensic Sciences where an autopsy was performed. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Spence turned herself in at DSP Troop 4 and then presented before Sussex County Superior Court. She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of an $111,100.00 cash bond.

“The deaths of children at the hands of those who are supposed to be caring for them are tragic and heartbreaking cases,” Attorney General Matt Denn said. “The police and prosecutors in these two cases spent months investigating the cases and reviewing evidence, including complex medical evidence about how each of these children died. I am proud of how a team of DOJ criminal prosecutors and DSP troopers in Sussex, led by Deputy Attorney General Melanie Withers, worked through these tough cases to get to these indictments.”