Man shot by Wilmington police had gunshot residue on hand

By Associated Press 10:29pm, April 30, 2016
Jeremy McDole is approached by WPD (WDEL file)
Wilmington police say a man fatally shot by officers while sitting in his wheelchair was armed with a revolver and had evidence of gunshot residue on his hand.

The revelation came in court filings Friday by city attorneys asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit in which Jeremy McDole's family claims he was unarmed and that police planted the gun.

McDole was shot last September after police were notified about a man who had shot himself and was still armed.

A bystander's cellphone footage shows officers repeatedly telling McDole to drop his weapon and raise his hands and McDole reaching for his waist area before shots erupt.

A detective said in a court affidavit that officers found a .38 caliber revolver with four spent casings and two live rounds in McDole's underwear.


Bonini wins GOP Gov straw poll

By Jon Budler 10:29pm, April 30, 2016
Gubernatorial candidate Collin Bonini wins the Delaware state GOP convention's straw poll over the weekend, defeating challenger Lacey Lafferty with 71-percent of the vote.

Bonini - who represents South Dover in the state Senate - easily took the Kent County votes (66 to 3), while New Castle County Republicans voted 92-21 in support of Bonini. Lafferty and Bonini tied the Sussex County vote at 39, with nine sustained.

In an earlier straw poll for Insurance Commission, George Parrish was the announced winner over Jeff Cragg in second-round voting. However, a miscalculation nulled the decision. No winner was announced.

Candidates Lamarr Gunn and Hans Reigle, candidates for Lt. Governor and U.S. Congress, are running unopposed.


DuPont heiress Lisa Dean Moseley dead at 87

By Frank Gerace 9:53am, April 30, 2016 - Updated 9:56am, April 30, 2016
Lisa Dean Moseley
A DuPont family heiress has passed away.

Lisa Dean Moseley, who had homes in Wilmington and New York City, passed away last Monday at the age of 87, the News-Journal reported.

Mrs. Moseley was born in Wilmington to J. Simpson and Paulina DuPont Dean, and was pre-deceased by her two husbands, Doctor John MacGuigan and Christopher Moseley, her brother, J. Simpson Dean, Junior, and her sons, Simpson Dean MacGuigan and Peter Haring MacGuigan.

She's survived by her sister, niece and three nephews.

Mrs. Moseley founded the Fieldstone Golf Club in Greenville and was an active member of the Vicmead Hunt Club and the Garden Club of Wilmington--she also encouraged basic medical and scientific research through a charitable foundation she established in 2004.

Her funeral will be private.


Wilmington Police on Howard student's death: No charges this week

By Amy Cherry 1:55pm, April 29, 2016 - Updated 5:14pm, April 29, 2016
VIDEO: Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings said an investigation into the death of Amy Joyner-Francis is taking longer than initially expected.
Wilmington Police held a status update on the death of a Howard High School student Friday, but there was little new to add outside of the fact that authorities would not be issuing any charges this week.

Officials hosted a news conference at 3 p.m. Friday at Wilmington Police headquarters and announced simply that an investigation into Amy Inita Joyner-Francis' death would take more time than initially expected and

"At a town hall meeting earlier this week, I stated that I was hopeful that charges would be filed against the persons of interest, who we identified in this investigation," said Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings. "We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Amy Joyner-Francis and working around-the-clock in full cooperation with the state of Delaware Attorney General's office and the state of Delaware Division of Forensic Science."

Amy Joyner-Francis was brutally attacked and killed in the bathroom at Howard High School.

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Cummings said detectives have scores of interviews, re-interviews, cellular and electronic data and forensic medical reports to review.

"All of these pieces go into making a strong case," he said. "Unlike TV, these things absolutely do take time. There are over 3,000 printed pages of data, alone, that must be painstakingly reviewed."

Mayor Dennis Williams stood alongside Chief Cummings at the news conference, but declined to speak. Neither Cummings nor Williams took any questions at Friday's news conference.

"We are obligated to Amy--as in any death investigation regardless of the means of death--to conduct a thorough complete investigation to ensure a successful conclusion as it comes to investigating this case and prosecuting it," he said.

The Howard High School sophomore was brutally beaten to death in a school bathroom last week during an assault police said was caught on video. Police reiterated Friday there were no weapons used in the bathroom attack, a detail WDEL reported previously.

"We all have an obligation to Amy's family, to her classmates at Howard High School, and to the community to present information to the public that is based on facts and not rumors," he said. "As such, I wanted to confirm that there were no weapons used in this attack."

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.




Guilty verdict for mastermind behind Edgemoor's Paladin Club murders

By DJ McAneny 4:08pm, April 29, 2016
Christopher Rivers, left, and Dominique Bensen
A 33-year-old Wilmington man has been found guilty in connection to the 2013 killing of his business partner and his partner's wife, officials announced Friday.

According to Department of Justice officials, Christopher Rivers was found guilty of acting as the mastermind behind the killing of Christopher and Olga Connell, both 39-year-old Wilmington residents.

Rivers was found guilty of two counts first-degree murder, two counts possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, first-degree conspiracy, and first-degree criminal solicitation.

Rivers's co-defendant, Dominique Bensen, 25, of Wilmington, was found guilty of first-degree conspiracy, but officials said Bensen--charged as one of the alleged hitmen--will need to be retried on charges of murder and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony after a jury could not reach a verdict on those during a previous trial.

"We are gratified that this jury found Christopher Rivers responsible for the heinous murders of Joseph and Olga Connell, and hope the verdict brings some measure of closure to their family members," said State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings. "We're also grateful the jury found that Dominique Benson conspired with Mr. Rivers to commit these murders, and we will most certainly retry him on the remaining counts."

A 32-year-old Wilmington man, Aaron Thompson, was recently charged in connection to the case.

The Connells were killed outside their home in the Paladin Club Condominiums on Paladin Drive in Edgemoor. Authorities said the pair was killed by Rivers in order to collect on a life insurance policy Rivers and Christopher Connell took out on each other in order to protect their shared business.


Ex-soldier gets double life sentence for brutal rape, murder of North Wilmington woman

By Amy Cherry 12:09pm, April 29, 2016
Dwight Smith
A former soldier, who said he became addicted to killing while in Iraq and Afghanistan, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Dwight Smith, 28, was sentenced to two life terms without parole for the rape and murder of 65-year-old Marsha Lee, of North Wilmington, the Delaware Department of Justice said.

Lee was out walking her dog one morning in December of 2011 at Lowell Road and Matson Run Parkway when Smith struck her with his red Hummer, raped, and beat her to death in 2011. Lee's unclothed body was found in a Delaware Department of Transportation lot off Talley Road.

An arrest affidavit, obtained by WDEL at the time, said Smith told police he suddenly got the urge to kill someone and chose Lee at random.

Smith was on leave from the military in Fort Drum, New York, when he killed Lee. Prosecutors had intended to seek the death penalty in the case, but Smith was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He pled guilty but mentally ill to charges of first-degree murder last year.

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.




Renovation work to begin at Conaty Park in Wilmington

By Tom Lehman 5:38pm, April 29, 2016 - Updated 6:13pm, April 29, 2016
Conaty Park. (WDEL/File)
Long-needed renovations are expected to begin in the coming weeks at Conaty Park in Wilmington, a step residents hope will rejuvenate a park that's fallen into disrepair in recent years.

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The upcoming changes to the park are the culmination of a months-long fundraising effort to collect about $250,000 in grants and money from government agencies and private entities for new playground equipment and landscaping.

The state of the park, located adjacent to the Trolley Square shopping center, had been the subject of controversy, with residents and city officials accusing the Wilmington Housing Authority of reneging on a lease agreement because of higher-than-expected costs during the construction of Lincoln Towers. The building overlooks the park and is frequented by residents.

Councilman Bud Freel spearheaded the collection of funds. He said a contractor has been selected for the project and work will begin once a permit is approved by the city.

"I'm very excited about the fact that we're going to rehabilitate this park and make it something that we can be proud of," he said.

The park is dedicated to Detective Thomas Conaty, the last Wilmington police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Residents think replacing the rusted and worn playground equipment will be a boon for the Trolley Square area.

Rob Keesler, president of the Delaware Avenue Community Association, said the neighborhood has been shifting toward being more family friendly and the renovations will help improve quality of life.

"Families can use that park again," he said. "It's going to be cleaner and more modern and updated and will look great. I think it's an asset to the community and it fits in with what we're trying to do."

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You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.




Wilmington Councilman Bud Freel seeking re-election

By Tom Lehman 6:13pm, April 29, 2016
Wilmington Councilman Charles "Bud" Freel. (WDEL/File)
Citing his desire to continue working on issues in his district and the city, Wilmington Councilman Charles "Bud" Freel said on Friday that he'll seek another term on council and plans to run for his district seat in this year's elections.

Freel, a Democrat first elected to an at-large seat in 1996 and then a district seat 2012, currently serves as the chairman of the council's finance committee. He is one of the longest tenured members of the council and works for the Delaware Department of Transportation as a legislative liason.

"I gave it a lot of thought and I talked to family. I wanted to make sure if I ran again and was fortunate to get re-elected that I give it 100 percent and we decided to move forward," he said.

If he's re-elected, Freel said he hopes to continue efforts to streamline city government from his position atop the finance committee and advocate for solutions to vacant properties in the city.

He'd also provide veteran presence on a council that is likely to look very different, with several seats set to be vacated by incumbents who seeking new offices or not running for another term.

So far, only three council members, Nnamdi Chuckwoucha (D-District 1), Loretta Walsh (D-At Large) and Robert Williams (D-District 7), have confirmed to WDEL that they already filed for re-election or plan to file.

Six other council members are seeking a new elected office, including Council President Theo Gregory (D), who is running for mayor. Council members Hanifa Shabazz and Justen Wright are running to replace him.

Councilwoman Maria Cabrera (D-At Large) is also running for mayor.

Additionallly, Sherry Dorsey Walker (D-District 6) is running for lieutenant governor and Darius Brown (D-District 3) is seeking the city treasurer post.

Freel said he and members like Walsh, also a longtime city lawmaker who has served two stints on council, can help provide some stability since several seats will be vacated and filled with newcomers in this year's elections.

"I think new people are good. You want new people on council," he said. "My thought was to have a good balance of some folks who would be new and some folks who would have experience."

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You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.




Wilmington man who brutally beat Windsor Hills woman gets 44 years in prison

By DJ McAneny 12:09pm, April 29, 2016 - Updated 3:28pm, April 29, 2016
Jermaine Booker
A 21-year-old Wilmington man found guilty of, during a home invasion, beating a woman unconscious and leaving her in the garage for her husband to find, will spend 44 years in prison, officials announced Friday.

Jermaine Booker, sentenced the morning of April 29, 2016, was found guilty in January of beating a 61-year-old woman and leaving her bleeding in a small room off a garage in the 100 block of Cambridge Drive in Windsor Hills, then stealing her car in January of 2014.

He was
arrested in Newark, New Jersey, two days after the incident, while driving the victim's car, with shoes in the vehicle covered in the victim's blood. He was 19 at the time.

He was found guilty of first-degree assault, home invasion, first-degree robbery, possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony, second-degree burglary, and misdemeanor theft.

A special condition of Booker's sentencing is, on the anniversary of the attack for the next 20 years, he will be placed in solitary confinement as a reminder of the violent actions inflicted upon the victim.


Ogletown convenience store robbed at gunpoint for 2nd time in 3 weeks

By DJ McAneny 5:49pm, April 29, 2016
The scene from the last robbery/WDEL file
An Ogletown convenience store was robbed at gunpoint for the second time in about three weeks.

According to Delaware State Police, the Books & News Plus at 756 Chestnut Hill Road was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday, April 28, 2016, and 11:45 a.m.

A man armed with a gun confronted three male clerks and demanded cash, making off with an undisclosed amount.

The last time this store was robbed was April 12, 2016, when a man robbed two employees at gunpoint.

The most recent suspect was described as a white male, 21 to 30 years old, 6'1" to 6'3", and weighing around 175 to 185 lbs. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Delaware State Police at 302.365.8566 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


3 Dover businesses on same road burgled, damaged in one evening

By DJ McAneny 4:26pm, April 29, 2016
Between 11:30 p.m. Thursday and 5:43 a.m. Friday, three businesses along the same street in Dover were burglarized, city authorities announced Friday afternoon.

According to Dover Police, the following businesses were burglarized:
  • China King, 760 Walker Road: Front door pried open, cash and $350 worth of frozen shrimp were stolen, $800 in damages sustained
  • Romano's Italian Pizzeria, 768 Walker Road: Front door pried open, undisclosed amount of cash stolen, $600 in damages sustained.
  • Coin Laundry, 772 Walker Road: Rear door pried open, undisclosed amount of cash stolen, $800 in damages caused.


  • Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Dover Police at 302.736.7130 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


    Marshallton gas station robbed by man implying he was armed

    By DJ McAneny 5:30pm, April 29, 2016
    A Marshallton gas station was robbed at gunpoint late Thursday night, Delaware State Police said Friday.

    According to authorities, a man entered the Dash In at 4598 Kirkwood Highway, and approached the teller, implying he was armed with a gun.

    The clerk turned over an undisclosed amount of cash at the suspect's demands, and then the man fled.

    The suspect was described as a white male, about 6'1" to 6'3", weighing 160 to 180 lbs., and last scene wearing a grey hoodie, sweatpants, sneakers, and mask.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Delaware State Police at 302.365.8566 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


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