On Tuesday, April 9 the office of Attorney General Beau Biden announced that prosecutors obtained indictments against the four teens charged last month with the carjacking and kidnapping of Margaret E. Smith, an 89 year-old woman from Lincoln, Delaware, that occurred on March 18. Although the cases against the four juvenile defendants had been assigned to Delaware Family Court, the Attorney General’s office chose to proceed against the four accused individuals as adults.
“We sought the charges in Monday’s indictment after reviewing all the facts and circumstances of the crime,” commented Jason Miller, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office. “We’re unable to comment more specifically about the evidence.”
According to Delaware State Police, on Monday March 18 Ms. Smith was at the Chicken Man Convenience Store in Milford when she reported being approached by two females. The girls, ages 14 and 15, asked for a ride to the Lincoln area and the victim agreed. When they arrived at a residence, the two girls allegedly demanded the victim’s keys and a struggle ensued between the victim and the girls when Ms. Smith refused to hand them over.
Police state that through interviews they learned that once in possession of the keys, the girls then ordered Ms. Smith out of the car and forced her into the trunk of the car before driving off with her inside, and at one point during the kidnapping, the two girls demanded money from the victim before removing more than $500.00 from her coat pocket. After nearly two days of being trapped in the truck, the girls then dropped her off at a cemetery near Seaford where she was located by a visitor on the grounds.
In a press release on Tuesday, the state Attorney General’s Office stated that the indictment charges 14 year-old Junia McDonald and 15 year-old Jackeline Perez with one count each of Carjacking 1st Degree, Kidnapping 1st Degree, and Robbery 1st Degree and three counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree. The indictment charges 17 year-old Rondaiges Harper and 17 year-old Phillip Brewer with one count each of Carjacking 1st Degree and Kidnapping 1st Degree and two counts of Conspiracy 2nd Degree. Each defendant will be arraigned next in Superior Court, at which time their bail conditions will be reviewed and no arraignment dates have been set at this time. McDonald and Perez are being held in custody in lieu of $56,000 secured bond. Harper and Brewer are being held in custody in lieu of $27,000 secured bond.
The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.