Rashai Harmon faces up to 44 years in prison
The Lewes man who fled from police and crashed into another car, killing a retired police detective in March, agrees to a plea deal. This means 27 year-old Rashai Harmon won’t be serving life in prison, but he still faces upwards of four decades behind bars.
Rashai Harmon was initially facing charges of Murder 2nd Degree, 2 counts of Vehicular Assault 1st Degree, 2 counts of Vehicular Assault 2nd Degree, 4 counts of Reckless Endangering 1st Degree, Possession of a Deadly Weapon during the Commission of a Felony, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Disregarding a Police Officers Signal, Second Offense DUI, Resisting Arrest, and multiple other traffic offenses.
According to court documents, a considerable amount of drugs were found in Harmon’s vehicle after the crash. For that reason, he was also initially charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver Heroin, Possession with the Intent to Deliver Crack Cocaine, Possession with the Intent to Deliver Marijuana, and Possession with the Intent to Deliver Powder Cocaine,
However, it was revealed Tuesday in Sussex County Superior Court that most of those charges were thrown out and Harmon pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of manslaughter, as well as reckless endangering and disregarding a police signal.
Between the plea deal and the charge of violating probation, a spokesperson for the Delaware Attorney General’s Office tells 47 ABC Harmon faces up to 44 years in prison.
Although state prosecutors say Charles Permint’s wife was supportive of the plea deal, 47 ABC reached out to the victim’s daughter, Julia Johnson, who says Harmon got off easy, stating quote, “I’m relieved I don’t have to sit through a trial, but I feel the charges for second degree murder should not of been reduced to manslaughter…I’m hurt and angry. He should get life.”
In an exclusive interview with 47 ABC’s Emily Lampa after the crash, the family of Charles Permint shared their pain over his death.
“I’m going to miss him,” Charles’ widow, Ludmilla said tearfully. “He was a presence. And I’m just very very grateful that the lord put that man in my life.”
Ludmilla was driving the car the day of the crash, “I could see the headlight and the top, the hood, come right at me.”
Investigators say Harmon was driving his Chevy Tahoe westbound on Forest Road in Harbeson, the morning when troopers tracked him down. We’re told Harmon was originally wanted by Delaware authorities for violating his probation as well as for charges of Terroristic Threatening, Criminal Mischief, and Criminal Trespass.
Harmon took off when troopers attempted to pull him over. When he got to the intersection of Harbeson road, Harmon collided with the Permint’s Kia Soul, traveling southbound.
Pictures of the Permint’s car, after the crash, show significant front end and driver’s side damage from the impact. Charles was sitting in the front passenger side seat.
Ludmilla admits she didn’t immediately realize how serious the situation was. “He was on my shoulder, and I looked at him, and I said, ‘He’s okay – he’s not bleeding.'”
Her concern then turned to her son Charles Junior and her granddaughter Amani, who were also in the car.
Ludmilla says they was on their way to drop off Amani back home in Millsboro when the crash happened. Despite her own pain and injuries she tells 47 ABC she found her phone and immediately called her daughter, Amani’s mom, Julia Johnson, who wasted no time getting to the scene.
“When I finally saw her in the ambulance,” Julia says, speaking of her 3 year-old, “Her face was covered in blood and she was still in her car seat.”
Amani suffered a concussion and a fractured collarbone. Charles Junior escaped serious injury in the crash.
It wasn’t until later that this family would learn from a medical examiner that Charles Senior suffered blunt force trauma to the chest, which killed him.
74 year-old Charles Permint, formerly a homicide detective in Philadelphia, moved to Delaware with his family, after retiring in 2001
Rashai Harmon will be back in court for sentencing on December 11th.