DOVER — A 16-year-old Dover male pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and two other felonies Monday in connection to a 2020 shooting death.
Questioned by a Superior Court judge, Harry Charles affirmed that he understood the court’s deal and its ramifications.
In addition to the murder charge, he also pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
While both prosecution and defense attorneys sought immediate sentencing, Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. noted his unfamiliarity with the defendant’s background and ordered a presentence investigation.
The case centers around the shooting death of Mykal Dempster, 31, of Dover, on June 1, 2020. He was found dead in a vehicle in the 300 block of Kesselring Avenue after officers responded to a shots-fired complaint at approximately 6:54 p.m., Dover police said. A residence was struck by gunfire, as well.
The Charles teen, then 15, and Raiquan Fisher, then 19, of Dover, were taken into custody by 8:05 that evening, after officers formed a perimeter and thanks to information provided by neighbors, police said. According to authorities at the time, both possessed handguns when apprehended. The Delaware State Police Aviation Unit assisted in the search.
Mr. Fisher, now 20, also pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of a firearm by a person prohibited in the case.
In addition, according to the Delaware Department of Justice, Mr. Fisher pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and reckless endangering in another June 1, 2020, shooting in the 800 block of Woodcrest Turn in Dover. A PSI is ongoing, and DOJ said he faces a minimum of three years’ incarceration on all the charges.
As the nearly 20-minute session unfolded Monday, Mr. Dempster’s mother, Deborah Drenning, sobbed quietly from the gallery. Afterward, she said, “They took our soul.”
Deputy Attorney General Greg Babowal, who prosecuted the cases with DAG Christel Duff, said Monday, “This case is a tragedy on many levels. First, for the victim, Mykal Dempster, and his family. He was only 31 years of age when he was shot and killed by the defendant.
“It’s also a tragedy that the defendant was only 15 years of age at the time of this murder. Hopefully, the plea resolution and future sentencing will offer the Dempster family some closure and peace.”
With the plea came a no-contact order between the Charles teen and Mr. Fisher, Mr. Dempster’s family members and other victims listed in the indictment, the judge said.
Both defendants had bail revoked and remain incarcerated.
Zach George, who served as co-defense counsel with Alex Funk, declined comment Monday.