Kent County indictments detailed

DOVER — Two men were indicted Monday involving separate fatal vehicle crashes that brought their arrests three months ago.

Nathan W. Jester Jr., 35, of Felton, and Robert H. Eckeard, 29, of Hartly were both taken into custody on Sept. 6 following investigations by the Delaware State Police.

A Kent County grand jury returned counts of leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death and failure to report an accident resulting in injury or death, according to court documents.

Police earlier alleged that Mr. Jester was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt westbound on Del. 10 on Sept. 5 it struck a 35-year-old Felton man who was walking his dog on the road’s shoulder at approximately 9:07 p.m. The man was pronounced dead at the scene by Kent County paramedics.

According to authorities, Mr. Eckeard was allegedly connected to an Aug. 31 crash that killed a 55-year-old Hartly man who was operating an Amish horse drawn carriage westbound on Del. 8 near the intersection of Del. 44 at approximately 8:05 p.m. The man was later pronounced dead at Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover and his wife was treated and released.

Mr. Eckeard was also indicted for alleged failure to have insurance identification in possession, expired tags and failure to have required insurance.
Indictments returned this week also included, among others:

• Roce Barlow, 76, was charged with first-degree robbery following an alleged incident at a Royal Farms in Dover on Sept. 30. He was later arrested without incident by Dover Police investigating a loitering complaint, authorities said.

Police said an armed man entered the store at 293 S. Saulsbury Road at approximately 5:01 a.m. and demanded cash. He received an undisclosed amount of money and fled in a black Toyota Camry with a female driver, authorities said. Detectives reviewed surveillance video before identifying a suspect, police said.

• Curtis L. Brown, 27, of Felton, was indicted on 11 counts involving a police chase and stolen vehicle on Oct. 27, according to documents.

According to State Police, Mr. Brown was seen driving a 2008 Ford F150 with a lost or stolen tag in the London Village neighborhood in Magnolia and a pursuit ensued. The vehicle eventually crashed into a tree and Mr. Brown was apprehended with the assistance of a Taster when he allegedly began to run, police said.

Indicted charges included disregard a police officer’s signal, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, driving while suspended or revoked,
malicious mischief, fictitious or canceled registration, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to stop at a stop sign, overtaking a vehicle to the left, unreasonable speed and improper lane change.

Police said the vehicle Mr. Brown was driving was stolen in the Milford area.

• James L. Catts, 50, of Smyrna, was indicted on a driving under the influence of alcohol count after a Sept. 3 traffic stop on Del. 1 near Del. 14 in the Milford area.

Two juveniles were in his Dodge Ram pickup truck at the time, Milford Police said, and a pair of endangering the welfare of a child counts resulted. Possession of a firearm while DUI and improper lane change charges were also filed.

Police said they received a call about a vehicle traveling erratically and maintain a single lane at approximately 8:46 p.m.

The children in the vehicle were released to a guardian.

• Jill R. Griffith, 48, of Milford, was indicted for allegedly abandoning an autistic child she was responsible for at Milford Express Wash on July 13. Other counts included second-degree child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Milford Police said officers located a 14-year-old boy who said he’d been left at the business in the 900 block of North DuPont Boulevard and was waiting for his mother.

The juvenile was taken into custody and transferred to the Delaware Division of Family Services.

• Marshall L. Rivers, 32, was indicted on robbery and firearm charges after a foot chase by Dover Police last summer, according to documents.

Mr. Rivers was wanted on charges from an alleged robbery at a 7-11 parking lot on Aug. 16, authorities said. He allegedly tossed a 9mm handgun while police pursued.

Charges included first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by person prohibited, possession of ammunition by person prohibited, second-degree conspiracy, receiving a stolen firearm, tampering with physical evidence, resisting arrest, driving while suspended or revoked, failure to have insurance identification in possession and unreasonable speed.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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