UPDATE: Harper Guilty On All Charges - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Harper Guilty On All Charges

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Rondaiges Harper Rondaiges Harper

GEORGETOWN, Del. - The verdict is in: guilty on all charges.

Rondaiges Harper, 19, of Bridgeville is now looking at a maximum of 66 years in prison for first degree kidnapping and carjacking charges and two charges of second degree conspiracy.

These stem from a March 2013 incident where Harper and a number of other teens allegedly held a 90-year-old woman captive in the trunk of her car, eventually dumping her in a cemetery.

It only took 25 minutes for the jury to find Rondaiges Harper unanimously guilty on all four charges he faced. The 19-year-old defendant stared straight ahead as the jurors gave their decision, bringing a four day trial to its end.
 
"They thought they fully deliberated the issues," said John Brady, Harper's attorney. "It would have been nice if they talked more, but it's understandable."
 
It was an early ending after deliberations were expected Friday. Only two witnesses testified Thursday. A nurse from Nanticoke Memorial Hospital that treated the victim Margaret Smith and the lead detective for the state, the only witness for the defense.

Then closing arguments as the state argued that Smith was a hostage who was put in harms way.

And that Harper knew.

They referenced Phillip Brewer's testimony, a man who already pleaded guilty to his involvement in the crime.

Deputy attorney general Melaine Withers said, "[Harper] probably didn't want Margaret Smith to die, but probably didn't want her to live."
 
On Wednesday, Brewer testified that he and Harper took Smith out of the trunk twice. Though he never testified, Harper admitted to police he spoke with the victim. The defense said there wasn't enough proof.

Ultimately the jury said otherwise. Now an appeal may soon follow.
 
"The big issues is on the carjacking statue," said Brady. "Under Delaware law, it is never been interpreted carjacking as a continuing event or is it a completed event once the keys are taken from the person that was taken in the trunk."

Sentencing has not been set yet.

Two other defendants in this case, Junia McDonald and Jackeline Perez, are scheduled for trial in August and October, respectively.

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