Smyrna man faces sentencing today in wife’s murder

Cortez A. Hamilton

DOVER — A Smyrna man is facing 15 years to life in prison when sentenced this morning for the second-degree murder of his wife three years ago.

In January, Cortez A. Hamilton pleaded guilty in the death of Keisha Hamilton, who went missing on Jan. 9, 2015 and was eventually presumed dead by her family members. A plea deal involved Mr. Hamilton providing the location of her missing body, according to the Delaware Department of Justice.

Human skeletal remains were found by Delaware State Police at Mount Friendship Road north of Brenford Road prior to the guilty plea being accepted in Kent County Superior Court. The couple lived at 113 E. Cayhill Lane in the Twin Willows neighborhood, authorities said.

Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr., who ordered a pre-sentence investigation after the plea, will render his decision at 9 a.m.

Defense attorney John R. Garey declined comment after the plea deal, citing the upcoming sentencing. Deputy Attorney General Stephen R. Welch prosecuted the case for the state.

After Mrs. Hamilton’s concerned family members contacted police, Cortez Hamilton stopped in a vehicle in Indiana with his unharmed two children age four years and four months old the day after an Amber Alert was issued. Following extradition to Delaware on Jan. 22, 2015, Hamilton was indicted on April 6, 2015.

Indiana State Police found a bloody hammer and bloody clothing belonging to Mrs. Hamilton during a vehicle search warrant execution, investigators said. Also located were clothing and shoes from Mr. Hamilton partially covered in mud and stained blood, according to a court opinion allowing the items to be entered as evidence.

Police said Mrs. Hamilton’s wedding ring, a lock of her hair, her purse and a cell phone were also found, according to police investigation.

Other indicted charges not further prosecuted included possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

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