Philadelphia man pleads guilty to murder in 2015 Dover home invasion

Saleem Shabazz

DOVER — A Philadelphia man who pleaded guilty to murder in a 2015 home invasion Friday is facing 21 years to life in prison when sentenced next month.

Saleem Shabazz, 21 at the time a 52-year-old Rodney Village resident was shot to death on Oct. 17, 2015, admitted to second-degree murder, home invasion and second-degree conspiracy in Kent County Superior Court.

Judge Jeffrey Clark ordered a pre-sentence investigation and then a sentencing date on April 25.

Clifton Leager was pronounced dead at the scene and his son Jacob H. Leager pursued two assailants outside the home before fatally shooting an 18-year-old Philadelphia woman who was waiting in a getaway car, the Delaware State Police said. The younger Leager was also shot during the home invasion, according to authorities, and was treated and released from the hospital.

Leager, 22, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on Feb. 2, and was sentenced to eight years in prison, suspended for time already served. He was ordered to serve six months of Level IV home confinement, followed by a year of Level III probation and then two years of restitution only Level I probation.

Alleged home invasion co-conspirator Matthew Harrington of Pennsylvania is scheduled for trial on April 24.

According to police, the shootings occurred in the 1400 block of John Clark Road after a home invasion was reported at approximately 1:38 a.m.

Shabazz was located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and extradited to Delaware. Mr. Harrington turned himself in to the Buckingham Township Police Department in Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

A second-degree murder conviction brings a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence, and home invasion warrants at least six years prison time.

Deputy Attorney General Jason Cohee prosecuted the case.

In other Superior Court convictions:

Eric Curry

• Eric Curry, 35, of Dover was sentenced to life in prison as a habitual offender for sexual abuse of a child, the Delaware Department of Justice said.

According to the DOJ, Curry was found having sexual intercourse with a minor female when the victim’s sister passed by and witnessed the act in November 2015.

Curry was convicted in a non-jury trial of second-degree sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust or authority, and second-degree rape. His habitual offender status resulted from previous violent felony convictions for aggravated menacing and second-degree robbery.

Shakir Swain

• Shakir Swain, 24, of Dover, is facing a potential life sentence after his conviction on firearm charges from an incident in December 2015.

The DOJ said a .40 caliber handgun was found in Swain’s bedroom during a search warrant execution in the 400 block of Barrister Place.

A Superior Court jury found Swain guilty of two counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. He was prohibited from possessing a gun due to previous felony convictions. He is facing between 10 years to life in prison when sentenced in April.

DAG Greg Babowal prosecuted the case.

DaMier Harmon

• DaMier Harmon, 20, of Dover, was sentenced to 30 years in prison regarding the shooting death of a 19-year-old Smyrna man during a marijuana transaction in May 2015, the DOJ said.

Harmon shot the man during a struggle in the Walker Woods neighborhood, authorities said.

In November 2016, Harmon pled guilty to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Deputy Attorneys General Steve Welch and Ben Snyder secured the plea.

Co-defendant Bruce Manlove received 15 years imprisonment in January after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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