Three juvenile suspects arrested in connected with the two-day kidnapping of Lincoln resident Margaret E. Smith will be tried as adults in Superior Court after a Judge Richard Stokes denied requests by the defense to have their cases transferred to Family Court.
Three juveniles connected to the March 18, 2013 kidnapping of an 89-year-old Lincoln woman will be tried as adults, a Sussex County Superior Court judge ruled this week.
Sussex County Superior Court Judge Richard Stokes has denied the request to transfer the cases out of Superior Court and into Family Court. Rondaiges Harper, Junia McDonald and Jackline Perez will be tried in Superior Court as adults, according to Department of Justice spokesman Jason Miller.
On March 20, Delaware State Police arrested then 14-year-old McDonald, of Milford, 15-year-old Perez, of Milford, 17-year-old Harper, of Bridgeville, 17-year-old Phillip Brewer, of Bridgeville, and 15-year-old Deniaya Smith, of Bridgeville, in connection with the carjacking and kidnapping E. Smith two days earlier, according the Delaware State Police.
McDonald and Perez, both of Milford, allegedly convinced Margaret E. Smith, then 89 of Lincoln, to give them a ride, demanded her keys and struggled with the victim when she refused to hand them over. Once the suspects gained possession of the keys, they ordered the victim out of the car and forced her into the trunk, police said.
McDonald and Perez then left the victim in the trunk for two days, without food or water, and are also suspected of stealing $500 from the victim. The two female suspects then picked up Brewer, Harper and Deniaya Smith before leaving the victim in a cemetery east of Seaford, police said.
Troopers conducting a traffic stop on Chaplains Chapel Road in Bridgeville arrested all five teenagers on March 20.
Deniaya Smith was charged with receiving stolen property and second-degree conspiracy and is being held on $2,000 secured bond.
McDonald and Perez are facing charges of first-degree carjacking, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and three counts of second-degree conspiracy.
Harper is facing charges of first-degree carjacking, first-degree kidnapping and two counts of second-degree conspiracy.
The fourth suspect in this case, Phillip Brewer, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in September 2013 and is facing charges of second-degree carjacking, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree conspiracy, with sentencing pending his cooperation to testify in future case proceedings.
Miller said the next step will be a case review in Superior Court, which has not yet been scheduled.