Dickerson firearms-related trial postponed until June 16

DOVER — The firearms-related trial of a 30-year-old man seen on video allegedly being kicked unconscious by a Dover police officer during a 2013 arrest has been continued until next month, officials said Monday.

Lateef A. Dickerson is facing possible life in prison as a habitual offender regarding an alleged July 17, 2014 incident when a shotgun and rifle, both loaded and reportedly stolen, were located by police in an abandoned shed in Middletown.

Lateef Dickerson

Lateef Dickerson

The case in New Castle County Superior Court was scheduled to begin today, but was moved to June 16, according to the Delaware Department of Justice. The trial is projected to last two days, according to online information on the Court’s website.

Mr. Dickerson is charged with possession of a firearm/ammunition by person prohibited (two counts), receiving a stolen firearm (two counts), and second-degree conspiracy.

According to the Delaware Department of Justice, Mr. Dickerson earlier turned down a plea deal on one count each of possession of a firearm/ammunition by person prohibited, receiving a stolen firearm, and second-degree conspiracy.

The deal would have made Mr. Dickerson eligible as a habitual offender, and he would receive at least 10 years on the possession count due to two prior violent felony convictions, the DOJ said, Also, the stolen firearm count could bring no time to life, and no time to two years for the second-degree conspiracy count.

If convicted as a habitual offender on the two possession counts, Mr. Dickerson will face 30 years to life. A habitual offender conviction on the stolen firearm counts could bring no time or two life terms, the DOJ said.

Also possible is no time to six years for the stolen firearm counts.

Deputy Attorney General Caterina Gatto is prosecuting the case for the state, while Assistant Public Defender Kevin O’Connell is representing Mr. Dickerson.

On May 4, a Kent County Grand Jury indicted Dover PD Cpl. Tom Webster on a felony second-degree assault charge after investigation into Mr. Dickerson’s apprehension on Aug. 24, 2013.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Dover and Cpl. Webster on Mr. Dickerson’s behalf.

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