Dover man pleads guilty to felony assault, conspiracy in connection to shooting incident

 

DOVER — A 20-year-old Dover man pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony assault and conspiracy charges in connection with a September 2015 incident in which a man was shot twice within less than two hours at separate locations.

Johnson Joseph, of the unit block of Freedom Drive, was immediately sentenced to nine months in prison by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clark, followed by nine months of Level IV work release and then a year of Level III probation.

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Johnson Joseph

Joseph has been held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna since his arrest on Sept. 5, and is thus scheduled for release early next month.

Citing a future job opportunity, Joseph requested and received work release placement at Morris Community Corrections Center in Dover.

Joseph’s brother Alex, represented by attorney Andre’ Beauregard, is scheduled for trial on July 18 regarding two counts of first-degree attempted murder and weapon charges.

Alex Joseph

Alex Joseph

The case involves a man who police said was shot in the chest at Whatcoat Apartments and suffered a graze wound to the leg at The Hamlet shopping center between approximately 9:28 p.m. and 11:18 p.m., according to police at the time.

While acknowledging the serious nature of a shooting that nearly killed a 20-year-old man, Deputy Attorney General Greg Babowal sought lesser charges against Johnson Joseph “given this defendant’s limited involvement” and believed “the plea is fair and appropriate.”

Thus, Joseph was convicted of lesser included offenses of second-degree assault and second-degree conspiracy. Two counts each of first-degree attempted murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony were originally brought, along with a first-degree conspiracy count.

Joseph requested the return of a cell phone and clothing seized by authorities during the investigation, which the Delaware Department of Justice said it will review.

A gun and ammunition discovered during the case must be forfeited, Judge Clark ruled.

Also, the defendant was ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, pay restitution to be determined and have no contact with the victim, according to Judge Clark.

The assault conviction brought a five year Level V prison sentence, which was suspended after nine months. The conspiracy charge earned two years at Level V, suspended for a year of Level III probation.

Attorney Kathleen Amalfitano represented Joseph in the matter.

Alex Joseph was 22 at the time of the incident, according to authorities.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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