Police: Dover man confesses in fatal stabbing

Malcolm A. Casson

DOVER — A 25-year-old Dover man admitted to stabbing a 36-year-old Milford man who died at the John Dickinson Plantation Mansion House Tuesday morning, police said in charging documents.

Malcolm A. Casson made the video recorded, post-Miranda statement as Delaware State Police investigated the death of Thomas M. Bunting Jr., 36, of Milford.

Mr. Casson was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, authorities said in an arrest affidavit.

Mr. Bunting was found unresponsive and suffering from multiple suspected stab wounds when troopers were called to the scene at 340 Kitts Hummock Road at 7:26 a.m., police said.

The John Dickinson Plantation has a temporarily closed sign at the main gate on Wednesday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

He was located “on the grass behind a hedgerow in the rear yard of the house,” and pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, police said.

In the charging documents authorities said “No cell phone, wallet or other personal effects were located at the scene. There were no vehicles at the scene.”

Police said Mr. Casson was taken into custody after Harrington Police made a traffic stop involving Mr. Bunting’s vehicle at 11:44 a.m. Tuesday.

In papers, authorities alleged that Mr. Bunting’s “wallet was located in the vehicle, however, (Mr. Bunting’s) debit/credit card was found to be in the possession of Malcolm Casson at the time of his detention.”

Also in the interview, according to police in papers, Mr. Casson “provided details … that only a participant in the crime would know.

“Casson admitted that the knife located in the trunk of the Kia Optima was the weapon he used to stab (Mr. Bunting.)”

Three other unnamed persons were with Mr. Casson when the vehicle was stopped in Harrington, according to documents, and all were transported to Troop 3.

In the affidavit, police said Mr. Bunting’s family told them he was last seen at home at approximately 11:30 p.m. Monday before leaving in his 2016 Kia Optima.

“Family members advised that (he) always carried his wallet and cell phone.”

Authorities did not indicate in court documents how the late man was first located, why he and Mr. Casson were at the site or what their relationship was believed to be.

On Wednesday, State Police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said the investigation was ongoing and information was still being gathered.

Mr. Casson was arraigned through Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in lieu of $1,060,000 secured bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 2.

Court records show Casson has a long criminal history, the Associated Press reported, including an assault conviction related to a 2016 knife fight for which he was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The Dickinson House grounds were closed Wednesday and today, and their status for Friday was undetermined, Department of State spokesman Doug Denison said.

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