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Delaware man sentenced to life for role in street feud that led to woman's death, shooting of 6-year-old

A man from Delaware has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty in federal court for his involvement in a violent street feud connected to a drug kingpin.

A Delaware man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for his role in a street feud involving a drug kingpin that resulted in the kidnapping and slaying of a woman and the shooting of a 6-year-old boy.

Dion Oliver, 43, was sentenced to the mandatory life term after he was convicted in federal court of kidnapping resulting in death. He was also sentenced to 20 years for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and five years each for stalking and conspiracy to commit stalking.

"His behavior demonstrates he does not value human life," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

One of Oliver’s codefendants, Dontae Sykes, also faced a mandatory life term after pleading guilty to kidnapping resulting in death, but he was sentenced earlier this year to less than 16 years in prison after testifying as a government witness. Federal law allows a judge to deviate from the mandatory sentence if a defendant provides substantial assistance to prosecutors.

Oliver’s defense attorney argued in her sentencing memorandum that a mandatory life sentence for him was unjust, and that the underlying conviction resulted from erroneous jury instructions. She also noted that, unlike Sykes, Oliver was not present when Keyonna Perkins was killed.

DELAWARE SUPREME COURT DENIES ACCESS TO BIDEN'S SENATE PAPERS AT UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE

A judge last year rejected a plea agreement that dropped the kidnapping charge against Oliver and called for him to serve 27½ years in prison.

Oliver and Sykes were among several men tied to drug kingpin Dwayne White, who had engaged in a yearslong feud with a former affiliate, Markevis Stanford. Another co-defendant, Ryan Bacon, had described Stanford in rap songs as a "rat."

As the feud escalated in 2017, Stanford allegedly hired a friend for $10,000 to kill Bacon, but the plot failed, prosecutors said.

The defendants later began tracking Stanford’s girlfriend, Perkins, in an attempt to locate and kill him. On June 6, 2017, Oliver seized Perkins at gunpoint and took her cellphone. The defendants later found Stanford walking along a highway and shot at him, but he escaped unharmed.

A couple of hours later, Oliver and Michael Pritchett saw Stanford get into a car in New Castle and followed him as he rode to Wilmington. As Stanford got out of the car, Oliver shot at him several times from Pritchett’s truck. Stanford was not hit, but a bullet struck 6-year-old Jashown Banner in the head while he was sitting in the back seat of his mother’s vehicle. The boy was left permanently disabled.

That same day, Perkins was blindfolded and thrown into the trunk of a car, then driven by Bacon and Sykes to Elkton, Maryland, where she was killed.

Prosecutors said White, the drug kingpin, later tried to bribe Jashown’s family, offering them $20,000 to deny that Pritchett was involved in the boy’s shooting. White was sentenced in state court in 2019 to more than 45 years in prison after being convicted of 21 felonies, including racketeering, drug dealing, conspiracy and money laundering.

Sykes pleaded guilty to conspiracy, stalking, using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and kidnapping resulting in death. Pritchett and Bacon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping, stalking and other charges and were sentenced to 25 years and 30 years, respectively.

Another co-defendant, Teres Tinnin, was sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to stalking and conspiracy to commit stalking. Federal prosecutors last year dropped related charges against Maurice Cooper, who is already serving a 75-year sentence for state court convictions after being arrested on heroin trafficking and gun charges. They noted that he would not be released from prison until he is nearly 100 years old, if not older.

Sykes’ girlfriend, Jaclyn McCain, pleaded guilty to four counts of lying to FBI agents about providing the vehicle that was used to take Perkins to Maryland, and one count of obstructing the investigation into her death. McCain, who spent six months in pretrial detention, was sentenced to time served.

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