Dover man found guilty in vehicular assault

Erick J. Wyatte

DOVER — A 31-year-old Dover man was convicted on lesser charges Monday morning connected a 2017 police chase and vehicle crash that seriously injured an elderly woman.

Erick J. Wyatte smiled briefly and looked toward his family in the gallery as guilty findings to third-degree assault and second-degree vehicular assault were announced by Superior Court Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. were announced.

Conviction on charges of first-degree assault and first-degree vehicular assault could have brought 25 years to life in prison.

Mr. Wyatte will be sentenced on April 25 following a pre-sentence investigation. He has been held by the Delaware Department of Correction since arrest on March 9, 2017 and will be credited with time served. Judge Witham revoked bail at the prosecution’s request.

“The verdict of the judge speaks for itself,” defense attorney Andre’ Beauregard said afterward.

Prosecuting Deputy Attorney General Stephen E. Smith declined comment on the outcome.

Judge Witham contemplated his decision after a trial on Jan. 23 and 24, and also deemed the defendant guilty of non-compliance of bond, disregarding a police officer’s signal, driving while suspended or revoked, stop sign and seat belt violations, driving at an unreasonable speed, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and failure to report a collision. A not guilty trespass by motor vehicle finding came from an improperly charged offense by the state, the Court ruled.

Before rendering the conviction, Judge Witham noted that a 71-year-old woman needed surgery on a broken wrist, suffered road rash and extensive bruising to the face and a possible brain injury in an incident in the 500 block of Nimitz Road. She was a pedestrian at the time that Wyatte fled from the scene of a domestic incident at White Oak Condos before his vehicle overturned in a crash about a mile away, according to trial testimony.

The judge noted that the driver did not appear to intentionally cause any injuries as he explained the degree of assault convictions.

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