First Degree Assault Alleged

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WEST OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City man faces first-degree assault and other charges this week after allegedly punching his girlfriend and choking her daughter with a flashlight during a dispute over loud music early last Saturday morning.

Around 6:30 a.m. on July 23, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to residence on Keyser Point Rd. for a reported domestic disturbance. The victim told police a verbal confrontation with her boyfriend, Jeffrey M. Hedrick, 41, of West Ocean City, turned physical when the suspect allegedly pulled her hair and bit her ear. The dispute was allegedly over loud music being played.

The victim’s daughter attempted to intervene when Hedrick allegedly pushed her against a wall in the garage and attempted to choke her with a flashlight. The mother and daughter went inside the residence and locked the door. Once he was locked out, Hedrick allegedly began damaging his girlfriend’s property in the garage before leaving on a scooter, according to police reports.

Hedrick returned allegedly intoxicated a short time later and kicked in the front door of the residence and renewed the verbal altercation with his girlfriend in an argument that continued in the front yard. When Hedrick attempted to leave again on the scooter, he allegedly attempted to run over his girlfriend and her daughter.

He then ran back into the garage, grabbed a pool stick and struck the victim’s vehicle. Hedrick was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property.

Near Head-On Collision

BISHOPVILLE — A Bishopville woman sustained injuries not believed to be life threatening this week after nearly colliding head-on with another vehicle before veering off into a cornfield.

Around 10 a.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported two-car accident on Bishopville Rd. near Old Stage Rd. The investigation revealed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Route 367, driven by Kim Hinkley, 45, of Bishopville, crossed the center line and side-swiped another vehicle, narrowly missing a head-on collision.

Hinkley’s vehicle then ran off the roadway and into a cornfield. She was transported to PRMC in Salisbury for treatment of injuries not believed to be life threatening. Charges are pending against Hinkley and alcohol was a factor in the accident, according to police reports.

Undercover Drug Bust

OCEAN CITY — A Charleston, S.C. man was arrested on drug distribution charges last weekend after selling ecstasy and cocaine to OCPD undercover officers in an alleged deal that began on the Boardwalk.

Around 11:45 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police undercover narcotics officers were working a buy-sell detail on the Boardwalk in an attempt to solicit the sale of illegal drugs. The officers approached an individual, later identified as Nehemiah Godfrey, 24, in the area of 4th Street and the Boardwalk and told them they were interested in purchasing marijuana.

Godfrey allegedly told police he did not have any marijuana, but that he had ecstasy for sale.

Godfrey allegedly told police he was selling ecstasy for $20 per pill and asked the undercover officers how many they wanted. The officer agreed to purchase two pills for $40, but Godfrey told police he did not want to conduct the transaction out in the open and asked the undercover detectives to follow him off the Boardwalk.

As the officers followed Godfrey off the Boardwalk to the 4th Street area, the suspect informed police he also had several grams of powder cocaine for sale. The officer told Godfrey he was also interested in purchasing a gram of cocaine and the two ecstasy pills for a total of $100. Godfrey then produced from his pocket a baggie containing alleged powder cocaine the size of a golf ball.

After the transaction was completed, Godfrey parted ways with the undercover officer, who gave the pre-arranged signal to other detectives in the area, who arrested the suspect without incident. Godfrey was charged with two counts of distribution of controlled dangerous substances.

Laptop Computer Swiped

OCEAN CITY — A homeless woman was arrested on first-degree burglary and theft charges last weekend after allegedly swiping a laptop computer from a downtown residence.

Last Saturday, an OCPD officer observed Elizabeth Evie White, 57, of no fixed address, carrying an HP laptop computer that had been reported stolen earlier in the day. When questioned about the laptop, White allegedly changed her story about how it came into her possession three different times. At one point, she told police an unidentified man had given it to her, allegedly saying, “I’m homeless, people give me stuff all the time.”

The officer took the laptop to an area on Caroline Street to meet with the victim who confirmed the computer was his. It was also identified by a faded Element sticker on the outside. The victim told police he was sleeping in a back room of his residence with the door open when someone entered his unit and went through his things. The door to his room was closed when he went to sleep, but it was open when he awoke. That is when the victim realized the laptop computer and around $100 was missing. White was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and theft.

Two Charged With Pallet Thefts

BERLIN — Two local men were arrested on theft and other charges this week after detectives were able to connect them to the alleged theft of over 3,000 pallets valued at over $17,000 from their former employer, Kelly Foods, in Berlin.

Back in May, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Kelly Foods on Old Ocean City Blvd. in Berlin to investigate the theft of pallets from the company’s warehouse. The investigation revealed the company had suffered a substantial loss of the pallets during a period from July 2010 to March 2011 and that two former employees might be involved.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) took over the investigation, which revealed a total of 3,060 pallets had been stolen. The company’s accounting department calculated the value of the pallets at $17,595. WCBI identified the suspects as Greg Jay Petersen, 48, of Berlin; and Chad Albert Alana, 40, of Delmar.

Petersen and Alana on Wednesday were charged with theft, theft scheme and conspiracy. A preliminary hearing has been set for August 19.

Late For Work Hit And Run

SNOW HILL — A Salisbury woman was arrested on hit-and-run and other charges last week after running into a Snow Hill police vehicle in the parking lot of the courthouse and leaving the scene.

Last Monday, a broadcast went out describing a vehicle that had just left District Court in Snow Hill and struck a Snow Hill police vehicle causing damage. A short time later, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle matching the description provided heading north on Route 113 just south of Newark.

The vehicle was stopped and the driver, identified as Brittney Jessica Brown, 19, admitted hitting the police car, but told police she was going to be late for work, so she left the scene. A K-9 scan was performed on the vehicle and turned up numerous smoking devices and a small amount of marijuana. Brown had just left court after being found guilty of speeding. Brown was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Jewelry Swiped

BERLIN — A Berlin juvenile was arrested last week after police were able to connect him to the theft of a purse containing several pieces of jewelry worth $20,000.

On July 5, Berlin police began an investigation into the theft of a purse from a vehicle. The investigation revealed the victim was the owner and landlord of a property on Broad Street and was in the area collecting monthly rents from tenants. During her time away from her parked vehicle, an unknown suspect or suspects stole her purse containing several pieces of jewelry valued at around $20,000.

Because of the nature of the crime, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was brought in to conduct the investigation during which it was learned a 17-year-old juvenile that resided in one of the apartments was involved. Contact was made with the juvenile’s father and a meeting was scheduled to speak with the suspect.

During the interview, the suspect admitted to the theft and all of the stolen items were ultimately recovered and returned to the victim. The juvenile was arrested last Wednesday and charged with theft over $10,000 and under $100,000. He was released to the custody of his father pending a juvenile hearing.

Armed Robber Convicted

SALISBURY — A Hurlock man faces life in prison after a federal jury last week convicted him of the armed robbery of a Food Lion grocery store in Salisbury in November 2009.

Last week, a federal jury found Tyrone Dale, 45, of Hurlock, guilty of armed robbery and related gun charges for the November 2009 robbery of a Food Lion store in Salisbury. Dale, also known as “Slim Dollar,” faces life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 10 years for possession of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Dale also faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for interference with interstate commerce by robbery and 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm, which would served consecutive to the sentence in the primary charge. Sentencing is set for Sept. 21.

According to testimony at Dale’s four-day trial, on November 22, 2009, he approached two employees of the Food Lion on Snow Hill Rd. in Salisbury as they were closing the store for the night. Witnesses testified Dale pointed a .12 gauge shotgun at both employees and threatened to kill them if they did not let him into the store.

The employees let Dale into the store and the suspect demanded money from the store’s safe. According to testimony, the employees, fearing for their lives, opened the store safe and Dale stole over $1,800 in small bills and coins. Dale then ordered the employees onto the floor and threatened to kill them if they activated the store’s alarm system before fleeing the scene.

Dale was intercepted by Salisbury Police officers upon leaving the store and was arrested after a brief foot chase. Salisbury Police recovered the shotgun and the proceeds from the robbery during the arrest.

Life For Murder Conviction

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man, convicted in May for the shooting death of a man in a convenience store parking lot last September, was sentenced last week to life in prison plus 25 years.

Last Thursday, a Wicomico County Circuit Court judge sentenced Walik Evans, 26, to life in prison for the shooting death of Devan Walls, 20, also of Salisbury, in the parking lot of a Royal Farms store last Sept. 19. Evans was convicted by a Wicomico jury on May 5 of first-degree murder and eight other charges related to the crime. In addition to the life sentence, the judge sentenced Evans to 25 years to be served consecutively for the eight other convictions.

A little before 3 a.m. last Sept. 19, Salisbury Police responded to the Royal Farms on N. Salisbury Blvd. for a reported shooting. When officers arrived, they found Walls unconscious in the parking lot with several gunshot wounds to his body. Witnesses told police the suspect was leaving in a vehicle and Salisbury Police pursued the vehicle to the area of Fairground Drive, where Evans abandoned the car and fled on foot. He was captured after a substantial foot chase. The victim was transported to PRMC and was pronounced dead from the gunshot wounds.

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