New Castle woman charged in fatal shooting of DSU student

Cheryl Jennings

Cheryl Jennings

BEAR — A 46-year-old New Castle woman was charged in connection with the July shooting of a Delaware State University student earlier this week.

Police said investigation into the incident continues.

Cheryl Jennings was arrested at her home in the first block of Terry Court on Wednesday and subsequently charged with first-degree murder and two firearms counts in the death of Malcolm Evans, 19.

After arraignment, she was held without bail at Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution near New Castle.

When announcing the arrest in a Friday news release, the New Castle County Police Department said no link between Ms. Jennings and the late Mr. Evans had been established.

Authorities said a $40,000 reward offer for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction was followed by tips from the public that proved significant to the investigation.

“This arrest by no means marks the end of our involvement or the end of this investigation,” Col. E. M. Setting, chief of police said.

“It does, however, provide some much needed closure to the family and community. In a case like this, where there is no known association between the victim and defendant, the extraordinary efforts of our detectives as well as help from the public must be recognized and commended.”

County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, who earlier doubled the reward offer, lamented the loss of a promising young adult who was working toward a successful future.

“Malcolm Evans was truly an innocent victim, a young man who lived with his parents and brother, went to college, worked a job and dreamed of becoming a doctor,” Mr. Gordon said in the news release.

“His death is a loss to all of us and we continue to share his family’s grief.”

Ms. Jennings was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by person prohibited; she had previously been convicted on a felony, police said, barring her from handling a firearm.

The incident detailed

Investigation into the incident began at around 4 a.m. on July 9 when Delaware State Police troopers were called to the scene of a one-car accident in the Rutledge neighborhood. Evidence pointed to a connection with a shooting in the unit block of Baywatch Road, according to police.

At 5 a.m., it was determined that New Castle County Police had jurisdiction due to the Rutledge neighborhood’s location; Mr. Evans lived in the 600 block of Country Path Drive within the community, authorities said.

According to authorities, Mr. Evans was shot in the upper body as was leaving home in a vehicle heading to work. His vehicle went out of control and crashed.

A witness reported several men seen in the nearby vicinity fled before emergency personnel arrived on scene, police said.

Mr. Evans died from his injuries at Christiana Medical Center at 2:14 p.m. on July 10.

Police asked anyone with surveillance equipment or information to call 573-2800 or go online to www.nccpd.com. Tips can also be provided to Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333 or at the New Castle County PD Facebook page.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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