Defendants waive preliminary hearings in sex-related felony cases

Karen L. Brooks

DOVER — A Smyrna School District employee and fire company official waived preliminary hearings in separate sexual-related felony cases Friday morning and the matters were then transferred to Superior Court.

Karen L. Brooks, 38, of Dover, was charged with two counts of fourth-degree rape/sexual intercourse with a victim under 18 after an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old boy in April.

According to Smyrna Police in court documents, Mrs. Brooks met the youth when he managed the Smyrna Middle School track team that she coached.

Upon learning of an investigation, the Smyrna School District placed Mr. Brooks — an Educational Diagnostician, working in the Special Services department at Smyrna Middle School — on paid leave on May 15. The status changed to unpaid administrative leave when she was arrested, officials said.

Mrs. Brooks did not attend Friday’s Court of Common Pleas hearing and entered her waiver through attorney Alex Funk.

John A. Metheny Sr.

Darren Weiford

Earlier Friday morning, John A. Metheny Sr., 72, of Hartly, waived a preliminary hearing connected to claims that he allegedly groped a 17-year-old female several times, beginning in November 2016. He was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child by the Delaware State Police.

According to State Police, some alleged incidents occurred at the Hartly Volunteer Fire Company, where Mr. Metheny serves as vice president. He is also treasurer for the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association.

An appearance for Darren Weiford, 21, of Dover, was postponed for a week when he wasn’t transported to the Kent County Courthouse by the Delaware Department of Correction. Mr. Weiford was charged with first-degree murder after Amber Buckler, 20, of Dover was found shot to death at the First State Inn on June 1.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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