Two New Castle County men received lengthy prison sentences July 25 for a brazen 2011 bank robbery and subsequent shootout with police during a car chase through Kent County.
William S. Sells, 31, of Newark and Russell M. Grimes, 42, of Wilmington, were convicted on a host of charges in May following their trial in Kent County Superior Court.
On Aug. 26, 2011, Sells and Grimes committed an armed robbery of the Felton branch of the First National bank of Wyoming. After fleeing the bank, they engaged with a shoot-out with police along a 16-mile car chase through Kent County during which multiple shots were fired, striking at least three pursuing police cruisers from the Felton and Harrington Police departments and Delaware State Police.
The chase ended when their car crashed into a ditch on Steele's Ridge Road in Camden-Wyoming. Sells and Grimes then ran away, but Grimes was shot by a state trooper and taken into custody.
No police officers or civilians were injured during the robbery or the pursuit.
Sells was arrested Sept. 6, 2011, following a three-hour standoff with police after he was found at the Shamrock Motel on U.S. Route 13, near Dover. He also had been wanted for an Aug. 16, 2011, robbery at the Royal Farms store at Pearsons Corner.
On May 28, 2013, following their trial in Kent County Superior Court, the jury found both defendants guilty of multiple charges.
Grimes was found guilty of robbery, conspiracy, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited and reckless endangering.
Sells was found guilty of robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, aggravated menacing and reckless endangering.
Before the sentence was imposed, Judge Robert B. Young approved a prosecution motion to have both defendants sentenced under Delaware's Habitual Offender statute, which provides for enhanced sentences for repeat violent offenders. Young sentenced Sells to 96 years in prison and Grimes to 64 years in prison. Because both were sentenced as habitual offenders, each defendant's prison term is mandatory and neither will receive credit for good time while incarcerated.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Susan Schmidhauser.