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Grand jury indicts 6 men in a day in separate NCCo murders spanning 5 years

Delaware Public Media

A New Castle County grand jury indicted six people in five murder cases spanning 2010 to 2015 last week, in what state officials say could be their most homicide indictments ever in one day.


One indictment comes in the high-profile stabbing death of Thomas Cottingham, who died in September saving a mother and child from an attacker in Wilmington's Rodney Square.

Twenty-five-year-old Calvin Hooker now faces first-degree murder and other charges in the case. The city has since created a civic award in Cottingham's honor.

Grand jurors also indicted 35-year-old Erik McNeely in a cold case -- a 2010 Wilmington shooting death -- which police say they solved with witness help.

Two other cases came in this year. In one, Benjamin Rauf of New York allegedly shot and killed a man in his car in Hockessin. Rauf faces two counts of first degree murder, among other charges.

Another indictment was for a 2015 shooting in Wilmington. The jury also handed up indictments for two men, aged 20 and 22, in a 2014 shooting in Newark.

As this year draws to a close, the city of Wilmington has notched its highest murder rate in years. The shooting death of a 17-year-old boy last Sunday marks 26 homicides for 2015, three more than in 2014, according to data tracked by The News Journal.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Wilmington's 26 homicides so far in 2015 were a new record. In fact, the city's highest murder rate was in 2010, with 29 homicides. The error has been corrected.

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