SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man, arrested on armed robbery and assault charges last December after beating another man with a baseball bat on a side road off of Route 113, was sentenced last week to 10 years in jail with all but 18 months suspended and was also ordered to pay over $65,000 in restitution to the victim.
Kenneth Lee Wharton III, 19, pleaded guilty in July to first-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Back in court last Friday, Wharton was sentenced to 10 years in jail with all but 18 months suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years upon his release and was ordered to pay $65,192 in restitution to the victim, of which $62,872 was earmarked for hospital bills and another $2,320 was for lost wages.
Around noon on Dec. 31, Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) detectives received information about a victim being transported to PRMC in Salisbury with serious injuries received during an armed robbery. WCBI detectives met with the victim, who told police during the early morning hours on December 31, he stopped his vehicle on a side road off Route 113 near Snow Hill to meet with another man, identified as Wharton, with whom he was acquainted.
The victim told police the two men stopped their vehicles and exited when Wharton approached him with a baseball bat in his hand and demanded his money and his cell phone. The victim told police he handed over $10 and the cell phone, after which Wharton started to beat him repeatedly with the bat about the head and body. The victim said he fell to the ground and Wharton got back in his vehicle and drove away.
The victim was bleeding profusely but was able to get back in his own car and drive to his residence. Once at home, the victim sought emergency assistance and was eventually transported via ambulance to PRMC. Wharton was later located at his residence and was arrested without further incident. He was charged with first- and second-degree assault, armed robbery, reckless endangerment and theft.
Berlin Break-In Suspect Nabbed
BERLIN — A New York man was arrested on burglary charges last week after allegedly breaking into a residence in Berlin and later confessing to the crime.
Shortly before 8 p.m. last Friday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence on Georgetown Rd. in Berlin for a reported burglary in progress. The troopers met with a victim, who told police she had just returned home to find a white male at her rear door. The victim said the suspect stared at her for a few seconds before running off in the woods.
The investigation revealed the rear door had been pried open and the suspect had removed several items from within the residence. A thorough search of the area, including Maryland State Police K-9 units and the MSP Trooper 4 helicopter, was conducted, but the suspect was not immediately located. Crime scene technicians from the MSP Crime Lab were also on hand to process the scene.
The next day, an off-duty Ocean City Police officer saw a male matching the description of the suspect in the area acting suspiciously and contacted the MSP. Troopers responded to the area and were able to locate the suspect, identified as Matthew Wade Bailer, 26, of Olean, N.Y. MSP detectives interview Bailer and were able to obtain a full confession to the burglary. Bailer was charged and is being held at the Worcester County Jail on a $20,000 bond.
Busted With Untaxed Cigarettes
BISHOPVILLE — Two New York residents were arrested for transporting hundreds of packs of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes last weekend after a routine traffic stop on Route 113 in Bishopville.
Around 3:20 p.m. last Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle on Route 113 near Bishopville Rd. for traffic violations. The trooper made contact with the occupants and observed numerous criminal indicators were displayed by both the driver, identified as Sheldon Mario Williams, 27, of the Bronx, N.Y., and the right front passenger, identified as Chantal Nicole Ruffen, 32, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The trooper then requested assistance from an MSP K-9 unit, which alerted on the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, 65 cartons of Newport 100 menthol cigarettes and 22 cartons of Newport box cigarettes, totaling 870 packs of cigarettes, were located in the trunk, none of which contained a Maryland tax stamp. Also located in the vehicle was a large, empty plastic trash bag with the odor of marijuana along with a small empty bag with the odor of marijuana.
The investigation revealed Williams and Ruffen had purchased the cigarettes in Virginia for the purpose of selling them to “family and friends” in New York. The approximate value of the sale of the untaxed cigarettes in New York is estimated at $8,700.
Jail Sex Assault Alleged
SNOW HILL — A Worcester County Jail inmate this week was charged with a sex offense and perverted practice after allegedly sexually assaulting a “pod” mate at the correctional facility in Snow Hill earlier this month.
On Sept. 6, a Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detective began investigating an alleged sexual assault at the County Jail. The investigation revealed the suspect, Dajuan Anthony Porter, 27, of Harrisburg, Pa., sexually assaulted a male victim with whom he is housed in a work release section of the jail who share the same pod with two other inmates.
The investigation revealed the victim awoke around 4 a.m. on Sept. 6 with Porter sexually assaulting him. Based on the evidence, an arrest warrant was obtained and served on Porter this week, charging him with a fourth-degree sex offense, perverted practice and second degree assault. He is being held on a $100,000 bond on those charges. Porter was sentenced in July to six months in the jail for a fourth-degree burglary conviction.
Closure in Alice Davis Case
SALISBURY — Investigators with the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation concluded late last week long-time teacher Alice Davis, whose body was found in a rural wooded area in Somerset County last week, was murdered by her husband.
Based on evidence collected during the intense and cooperative investigation, the MSP Homicide Unit and WBI determined Jess H. Davis, 57, who killed himself in the days after Alice Davis went missing, was responsible for the murder.
Based on the evidence, investigators believe Jess Davis murdered his wife, Alice, on Sept. 5. Although unable to say definitively, investigators believe the murder likely occurred at or near the location where the body was found. Investigators believe Jess Davis transported Alice Davis to the location in their car, took the car to the parking lot where it was later found and then took a taxi back to the couple’s home. Police believe Jess Davis acted alone and have closed the books on the investigation.
Fed Conviction Sentence
BERLIN — A Pocomoke man with nine prior drug convictions was sentenced last week in federal court to 10 years in jail for his 2008 arrest on drug trafficking and gun charges.
In December 2008, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office executed a search and seizure warrant on an apartment in Pocomoke suspected on being involved in drug dealing. As the Sheriff’s Office Tactical Team entered the apartment, two suspects, Skyy Townsend, 29, of Pocomoke, and Omar Williams, jumped out of a second story window and were apprehended on the ground below.
A search of the apartment revealed over 14 grams of crack cocaine and two handguns, a Colt .45 and a .22 caliber revolver. Townsend later admitted dealing crack cocaine out of the apartment with Williams. Because he had nine prior drug convictions, Townsend was tried in federal court.
“Today’s sentencing speaks volumes about how strong partnerships, regional coalitions and unwavering resolve can achieve harsher penalties for local offenders,” said Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.