A Millsboro man has rejected a plea deal in a kidnapping and robbery case involving an elderly Rehoboth Beach man who was stuffed into his trunk.
Steven Snell, 29, rejected a final plea offer July 1 in a very short hearing in Delaware Superior Court. Snell will face trial in Georgetown beginning Monday, Sept. 30.
While the charges he would have had to plead guilty to are unclear, by accepting the deal, Snell would have served a mandatory 14-year minimum jail sentence. By going to trial, he faces a minimum of 42 years in jail should he be convicted on all charges, which include three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree carjacking, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, home invasion, possession of burglary tools, and possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony.
Snell is accused of breaking into the home of an 82-year-old man and his 81-year-old wife at Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club July 28.
According to Delaware State Police and prosecutors, Snell, who had previously visited the victims’ home with his grandfather to perform electrical work, gained access to the house and then held a box cutter to the throat of the man. When the woman came downstairs, Snell threw her to the ground. Police and prosecutors say Snell took $60 from the man, $200 from the woman’s purse and her ATM card. He put the man in the trunk of the man’s black BMW, and with the woman in front, all three went to an M&T Bank branch on Camelot Drive. During the drive, Snell is accused of telling the woman he had a gun.
At the bank, Snell withdrew $500; the ATM security camera captured both the woman and Snell, recognizable by a three-star tattoo on his forearm. Police and prosecutors say that when Snell tried to lead the woman back to the car, she struggled. When another customer intervened, Snell left the scene, driving the car to the rear of the Subway restaurant near the bank. Snell fled on foot, leaving the man in the trunk. The man was able to free himself from inside the trunk by jimmying the lock.
Police got Snell’s cellphone number from his mother, who cooperated with the investigation, and were able to track down Snell using a cell-phone locator. Snell’s attorney, Rob Robinson, had tried to suppress evidence from the cell-phone locator, but Judge E. Scott Bradley denied the defense motion.