First-Degree Murder Plea
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man last week pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for his role in the shooting death of a man near the VFW on Main Street last June and was sentenced to life in prison with all but 30 years suspended.
Marquis Cortez Williams, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the shooting death of Jackie Hopkins near the VFW at N. Main Street and Mitchell Rd. last June 28. Salisbury City Criminal Investigation Division detectives said witnesses to the incident told them the victim was attempting to enter his vehicle on W. Main Street when Williams and a co-defendant, Taquez Price, approached him and demanded money.
At that point, Williams produced a handgun during the robbery attempt and shot Hopkins. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Williams was sentenced to life in prison with all but 30 years suspended. The co-defendant, Price, was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in a jury trial in January and was sentenced to life in prison with all but 28 years suspended.
Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello said this week he was pleased with the two first-degree murder convictions.
“This was a senseless act of violence committed by two individuals without any regard for the life that they took,” he said. “One can only hope that these two criminals will gain some appreciation for their actions while spending a few decades in prison.”
High Speed Motorcycle Chase
BERLIN — A Seaford man was arrested on numerous traffic violations last week after leading a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase through the south end of the county before reaching a dead end.
Last Sunday, the deputy observed a motorcycle traveling 76 mph in a 55 mph zone on Route 12 near Snow Hill. The deputy attempted to stop the motorcycle, driven by Clifton Ebron, 22, as the chase reached speeds of nearly 100 mph.
Ebron eventually encountered a slow-moving vehicle on a curve in the roadway, allowing the deputy to catch up. When the slow-moving vehicle came to a stop to allow the deputy’s cruiser to pass, Ebron was forced to stop because there was no shoulder on the road.
Ebron was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding police, reckless and negligent driving and speeding. He was later released pending a court date.
Brother Dumps Brother Off Moped
OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested on drunk-driving and failure to remain at the scene of an accident charges along with numerous traffic violations last weekend after allegedly first dumping his brother off a moped and later fleeing from police.
Shortly before 5:30 p.m. last Sunday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to an accident with injuries involving a moped on Philadelphia Ave. near 17th Street. OCPD called for EMS to treat the injured victim and learned the operator of the moped had left the scene.
While still on scene, an OCPD officer noticed the moped that had left the scene traveling west on Kingfish Drive nearby. A short time later, the officer saw the operator, later identified as Frank Wray King IV, running between homes on Kingfish Drive. Another officer responded to the area of Kingfish Drive and located Frank King.
Frank King told police he was traveling east on 17th Street with his brother, Aaron King, as a passenger. Frank King said he accelerated as he turned north on Philadelphia Ave., causing his brother to fall off the back of the moped. King went north and made a U-turn to return to the area where his brother fell.
However, King said when he saw police on the scene, he fled the scene out of fear of being arrested. A check of King’s Maryland driver’s license revealed it was suspended. During the investigation, OCPD officers detected the odor of alcohol on King’s person. King told police he had been drinking vodka the night before until 3:30 a.m.
King was administered field sobriety tests and failed to perform them to the officer’s satisfaction. He also submitted to a blood-alcohol test, which resulted in a reading of .12. King was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, reckless and negligent driving, failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury and numerous other traffic violations. King’s brother, Aaron King, was treated by Ocean City Emergency Services for undisclosed injuries.
Theft Caught On Tape
BERLIN — A Salisbury man was arrested on theft charges this week after a video surveillance camera caught him taking money and cigarettes from a store on Route 611.
Around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Assateague Market on Route 611 for a reported theft. Upon arrival, troopers were advised a suspect, later identified as Robert Lee Williams, 43, had been observed on the store’s surveillance video taking money from an employee’s purse and stealing a carton of Newport cigarettes.
Williams was arrested and charged with two counts of theft less than $100. He was taken before a District Court Commissioners and released on personal recognizance pending trial.
Route 90 Crash Snarls Traffic
OCEAN CITY — Traffic was snarled on Monday afternoon after a six-vehicle accident on Route 90 at St. Martin’s Neck Rd.
Around 2:15 p.m. on Monday, a total of six vehicles were involved in a multi-car accident on Route 90 at St. Martin’s Neck Rd., or the intersection between the two spans along the gateway to Ocean City. No serious injuries were reported, but Route 90 was closed in both directions for about an hour, snarling mid-afternoon traffic in and out of Ocean City. All lanes of traffic reopened around 3 p.m.
The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.
Home Invasion Murder Plea
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man pleaded guilty this week to first-degree murder for his role in the shooting death of a 63-year-old woman during a home invasion in December and now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
Demarics Banks, 21, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to first-degree murder in connection with the shooting of the 63-year-old victim in her residence on Dale Lane on December 17. Banks, one of three men charged in the homicide, is expected to be sentenced within 30 days pending a pre-sentence investigation.
Shortly after 1 a.m. on Dec. 17, Maryland State Police troopers received a 911 call from the victim’s son, who reported he returned to home from work and found the back door open and bloodstains in the hallway. Fearing the perpetrators were still inside, the victim’s son went next door to call 911.
The investigation revealed Banks and two other men barged into the home around 6:30 p.m. on December 17 in an attempt to burglarize the residence when the victim emerged from a bedroom. The victim was shot and died from a single bullet wound, according to the autopsy report.
10 Years For Pizza Delivery Robber
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man arrested for holding up a pizza delivery driver last October was found guilty last week in Wicomico County Circuit Court on one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Last October 24, a Domino’s pizza delivery driver was robbed by unknown assailants at the Parkside Apartments. Although the victim could not identify his attackers, one suspect, later identified as Derwin Strand, of Salisbury, was later observed on video surveillance tape using the victim’s credit card at a convenience store shortly after the robbery.
A search warrant was obtained and Strand was located and arrested at his Salisbury apartment. During a search, a pellet gun used in the hold up was discovered. Strand was found guilty last week of conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Two Convicted In Theft Spree
OCEAN CITY – Two Ocean City residents arrested in January on dozens of counts of theft, malicious destruction of property and other charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a vehicle owned by an off-duty Maryland State Police trooper at an uptown hotel each pleaded guilty this week in District Court to theft and rogue and vagabond and were sentenced to a year in jail.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were in the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st Street investigating a reported assault when an individual ran into the lobby and reported there was a man on the street holding down two kids that were attempting to break into his car. The officers followed the witness to 91st Street where they saw a man later identified as an off-duty Maryland State Police trooper holding two individuals, a male and a female, next to a full-size pick-up truck with its doors open.
The victim told OCPD officers he caught the two suspects, identified as Roger Rinker, Jr., 27, and Crystal Tucker, 27, both of Ocean City, breaking into his truck. Tucker told police her aunt worked in the hotel and that her uncle was in town and that she thought the truck belonged to him and she was “going to [expletive deleted] with him.”
Parked directly in front of the victim’s truck was a silver passenger car determined to belong to Rinker. Inside the car was a Maryland State Police jacket, which was clearly visible through the windshield of the vehicle. The victim told OCPD officers he was an MSP trooper and that the jacket belonged to him.
At that point, Rinker and Tucker were arrested. A search of Tucker’s person turned up a folding knife, several lighters and a bottle of Advil, which the trooper identified as property taken from his truck. A search of Rinker turned up a flashlight that also belonged to the trooper.
The trooper explained he was staying in the hotel with his wife when he went out on the balcony facing 91st Street and observed the silver sedan pull up near his truck. The victim said he observed two suspects walking furtively between the two vehicles, and when he saw the interior light of his truck come on, he ran down to his vehicle. When he arrived at his vehicle, the trooper saw two individuals, later identified as Rinker and Tucker, sitting inside.
The trooper told police he grabbed the two individuals and pulled them from the truck while asking a bystander to run and get the police. Also found on Tucker’s person was a screwdriver, which she told police the couple used to pry away the rubber seal around the window to gain entry into the vehicle. A search of Rinker’s vehicle revealed a hammer, adjustable wrench, walkie-talkie radios tuned to the same channel, bolt cutters, a chisel-like rock hammer and a metal mallet, all of which are consistent with tools used to break into vehicles, according to the police report.
Tucker agreed to speak with police and admitted the pair had come to the decision to break into vehicles to find objects of value that could be sold for money, which they needed to pay various court fines. Tucker told police the couple had first gone to the parking lot at Seacrets to find vehicles to break into and drove with the detective to the nightclub to point out some of the vehicles they had tampered with including a soft-top Jeep Wrangler.
When finished at Seacrets, Rinker and Tucker allegedly went to the Holiday Inn on 66th Street where they allegedly broke into three more vehicles, stealing various items. After the Holiday Inn, the couple went to the Princess Royale where they broke into three more vehicles. Rinker and Tucker were charged with 27 counts each, ranging from theft and theft conspiracy to malicious destruction of property to rogue and vagabond.
On Wednesday, Rinker pleaded guilty to one count each of theft and rogue and vagabond was sentenced to 90 days for the first charge and one year for the second. Tucker pleaded guilty to two counts of rogue and vagabond and was sentenced to a year in jail for each count.
Juveniles Skip School, Rob House
SALISBURY — Two Salisbury juveniles were arrested on first-degree burglary charges this week after allegedly skipping school, breaking into a residence, doing their nails and eating some food before being caught a short time later.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a residence on Pine Way in Salisbury for a reported burglary. Deputies learned two female juveniles, ages 11 and 12, were seen entering the residence via a window. The investigation revealed once the two juveniles were inside, they took time to paint their fingernails and ate some food in the house. It was also learned one of the juveniles left with a pair of shoes.
The witness identified the two suspects and both were located a short time later. During an interview, the two suspects admitted skipping school and admitted the burglary. In addition, it was learned one suspect left the stolen shoes at Boscov’s and replaced them with a pair of flip-flops stolen from the store. The stolen shoes were found in the restroom at the department store.
Both suspects were charged with first-degree burglary and theft. They have been charged on a juvenile referral pending formal adjudication.
Indecent Exposure Arrest
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on indecent exposure and drug possession charges after allegedly dropping his pants on the porch of a residence early Monday morning.
Around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence on Old Ocean City Rd. for a report of a naked man standing in a yard. Deputies met with the complainant, who said the suspect, identified as Luther T. Joudrey, 49, of Salisbury, came to the house around 4:25 a.m. and knocked on the door. When the door was opened, the complainant found Joudrey standing there with his jeans around his ankles and holding his private parts.
The deputy located Joudrey on an adjacent property and placed him under arrest after an interview. After the arrest, the deputy found Joudrey to be in possession of a pipe used to ingest crack cocaine, which still held the remnants of the drug. Joudrey was charged with indecent exposure and possession of crack cocaine. He was being held on a $3,000 bond.
School Bus Fight
SALISBURY — Two juveniles were arrested on assault charges this week after an alleged fight on a school bus.
Around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a reported altercation on a school bus on Morris Mill Rd. in Salisbury. The investigation revealed a fight had broken out between two teenage girls in the aisle of the bus, forcing the bus driver to pull to the side of the road to deal with the altercation.
The bus full of students remained on the side of the road until a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Board of Education representative arrived. The two girls were removed from the bus and both were charged with second-degree assault. Both were later released to guardians while the case has been turned over to the Department of Juvenile Services.