BERLIN — A Berlin woman was killed in a two-car crash on Route 1 in Delaware this week after losing control of her vehicle and crossing the median on the wet, snowy road and colliding with another vehicle.
Around 10:48 a.m. on Tuesday, a Nissan Altima, driven by Brigitte Best, 78, of Berlin, was traveling north on Route 1 near Smyrna when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the snowy, wet roadway, crossed the grassy median and into the southbound lanes where it collided with a Ford Express van.
Best was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the van, Leonardo Cruz, 25, of Elkton, was transported by ambulance to Christiana Hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The van’s passenger, identified as Rene Vasquez, 42, of Elkton, was also transported to Christiana Hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The occupants of both vehicles were properly restrained by seatbelts at the time of the collision.
Route 1 southbound was closed for about three hours as the Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the crash and cleared the scene. The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.
Blunt Eaten Before Arrest
SNOW HILL — A Pocomoke man was arrested on various drug charges and resisting arrest last weekend after alleging eating a marijuana-filled cigar during a traffic stop and then scrapping with police attempting to take him into custody.
Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol in the Snow Hill area and conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle with a headlight out. While talking with the vehicle’s occupants, the deputy detected an odor of marijuana coming from the interior. A probable cause search resulted in the discovery of a clear plastic bag containing marijuana.
Through further investigation, the back seat passenger, identified as Adam George Anderson Miller, 22, of Pocomoke, admitted being the owner of the weed. It was also determined Miller had eaten a cigar containing marijuana prior to the deputy’s search of the vehicle. When the deputy attempted to place Miller under arrest, a brief struggle ensued before the suspect was taken into custody.
During a search of Miller’s person, a marijuana smoking device was located. Miller was charged with possession of marijuana-10 grams or more, possession of paraphernalia, resisting arrest and obstructing and hindering. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was later released on his own recognizance.
Stiff Sentence For Jewel Thief
SNOW HILL — A Hebron man, arrested in July after local law enforcement officials were able to connect him to two cases of theft of jewelry from a West Ocean City residence, pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to first-degree burglary and theft and was sentenced to seven years in jail, all but three of which were then suspended.
Last March 28, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a burglary from a residence on Harbor Master Blvd. in West Ocean City. The unidentified suspect had entered the residence and taken jewelry from the victim. On April 4, the same victim contacted the sheriff’s office to report additional jewelry missing. The case was then forwarded to the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI).
During the investigation, WCBI detectives were able to identify Nicholas Richard Vilkas, 24, of Hebron, as a person of interest. A check of local pawn shop records revealed Vilkas had sold all of the jewelry reported stolen by the victim, as well as additional jewelry that the victim had not realized had been stolen at the time of the initial reports.
Vilkas was located at a residence in Salisbury in July and was taken into custody. He was later interviewed and confessed to committing the burglary and theft. Last week, Vilkas pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and theft from $1,000 to under $10,000. He was sentenced to seven years in jail with all but three suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation upon his release and was ordered to pay nearly $6,000 in restitution to two named victims.
For Vilkas, his arrest in July for the jewelry burglary was his second in as many weeks. He was arrested on theft charges on June 22 after his truck pulling a trailer full of allegedly stolen sheet metal was discovered broken down on the side of Route 50 just west of Old Bridge Rd.
Around 1:50 a.m. on June 22, a Worcester County sheriff’s deputy on patrol observed what appeared to a disabled pick-up truck and utility trailer on the shoulder of westbound Route 50 just west of Old Bridge Rd. The deputy stopped to offer assistance and observed an individual later identified as Vilkas, standing outside and looking perplexed.
The deputy observed the trailer had sheets of formed metal loaded onto it and the truck’s rear window had been shattered. Vilkas admitted to the deputy he had stolen the trailer and the sheets of metal from the rear of a business on Route 50. He received probation before judgment in that case in July.
SALISBURY — A Wicomico County man was found guilty last week of attempted first- and second-degree murder and other charges for an attack on another man with a liquor bottle last May and now faces life in prison.
A Wicomico County Circuit Court jury last week found Brian Keith Hensley, 43, guilty of attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed robbery, reckless endangerment and various drug charges following an incident in Salisbury last spring. On May 16, Hensley attacked an 18-year-old victim with a vodka bottle while the victim was asleep in a house on Ohio Ave.
Hensley fractured the victim’s skull during the attack. He also robbed the victim of his wallet, cell phones and other personal property. Following the conviction by a Wicomico County jury last week, a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Hensley now faces in excess of life in prison.
Jail Time For Stolen Jeep
SNOW HILL — One of two men arrested in August on motor vehicle theft charges after swiping a Jeep from a West Ocean City restaurant before being discovered in the Park-and-Ride pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Around 11 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2013, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to Hooper’s in West Ocean City for a reported stolen vehicle. The vehicle was described as a 1994 Jeep Wrangler with no top and it was taken from the restaurant parking lot between the hours of 1:30 a.m. on Friday and 11 p.m. on Saturday.
The trooper interviewed the victim and then began to search the area in an attempt to locate the stolen Jeep. A few minutes later, the trooper located the stolen vehicle in the West Ocean City Park-and-Ride. The stolen Jeep was still occupied by two suspects later identified as Charles Carey, 33, of Delmar, and David Phillips, 25, of Salisbury. Additional troopers responded to the area and arrested Carey and Phillips without incident.
Last week, Carey pleaded guilty to unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to nine months in jail and was fined $200. Phillips had the charges against him nolle prossed, or not prosecuted, in October.
Five Months For Dealing
OCEAN CITY — A Nottingham, Md. woman arrested on numerous charges in July after a search following a drunk driving stop revealed multiple narcotics in her vehicle pleaded guilty last week to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to just under five months in jail.
Around 12:30 a.m. on July 13, 2013, Ocean City Police stopped a suspected drunk driver at 69th Street and Coastal Highway. The driver, identified as Teresa Ann Hangland, 54, of Nottingham, Md., failed numerous field sobriety tests and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Because Hangland’s vehicle was parked in the northbound bus lane on Coastal Highway, OCPD officers requested a tow truck to remove it.
Prior to towing, however, the OCPD officers conducted a required search of the vehicle’s inventory and recovered 60 assorted prescription pills, cocaine, drug paraphernalia and other items used for packaging to indicate distribution. The officers also recovered over $3,000 in cash.
Hangland was charged with seven counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance (CDS), eight counts of possession of CDS, four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of packaging material for distribution of CDS, removing a label from a prescription, and driving under the influence.
Last week, she pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but four months and 28 days of which were then suspended. She was also fined $500 and placed on probation for three years.
Fugitive Nabbed At BWI
SALISBURY — A Tracy’s Landing woman wanted in Wicomico County for violating her probation was nabbed last week at Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) when she arrived on a flight from Florida.
Last Thursday, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office received information that a wanted fugitive, identified as Lauren Michelle Richardson, 26, of Tracy’s Landing, was onboard a commercial flight from Florida to BWI and would be landing shortly. The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office passed the information along to the Maryland Transportation Authority police, who took Richardson into custody upon her arrival at the airport.
A Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy traveled to BWI, took custody of Richardson, and transported her back to Wicomico County. A bench warrant for Richardson had been issued back in October after she violated the terms of her probation following a conviction in a theft case. Richardson was detained without bond after an initial appearance before a Wicomico County Circuit Court judge.
Cartwheels In Street
SALISBURY — A Salisbury woman was arrested on disorderly conduct and drug possession charges last week after allegedly doing cartwheels in the street and shouting obscenities at neighbors during an incident last Friday.
Around 6:45 p.m. last Saturday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the area of Rose Street in Salisbury for a reported disturbance. During the investigation, one of those involved, identified as Khristine Hubbard, 23, of Salisbury, began doing cartwheels and jumping around in the street while yelling obscenities as neighbors and the deputy. After observing Hubbard was a distraction, the deputy arrested her for disorderly conduct. She was later found to be in possession of marijuana. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on an unsecured bond.