WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today the unsealing of a July 13, 2023, Indictment returned by a federal grand jury charging four Delaware men with a crime spree that culminated in the kidnapping and rape of an individual identified in the Indictment as “Victim-1.”
According to the Indictment, on April 14, 2023, Tonnaire McNair-Matthews, 24, David Hinson, 23, Michael Caldwell, 21, and Mahkiya Powell, 20, conspired to rob unsuspecting drivers by rear-ending them in a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee (“the Jeep”) with the intent to rob the drivers when they exited their vehicles. After multiple attempted robberies, McNair-Matthews, the driver of the Jeep, rear-ended Victim-1, who was on her way to work, in Pennsylvania, causing Victim-1 to pull over after crossing into Delaware. McNair-Matthews then approached Victim-1’s vehicle, brandished and pointed a privately made firearm, commonly referred to as a ghost gun, at Victim-1, and then forced Victim-1 back inside Victim-1’s car at gunpoint. McNair-Matthews then drove Victim-1, against her will, in Victim-1’s vehicle from Delaware into Pennsylvania. During the ride, McNair-Matthews forced Victim-1 to disrobe, demanded Victim-1’s PIN code, and digitally penetrated her against her will. After arriving in Pennsylvania, McNair-Matthews then forcibly raped and robbed Victim-1 of personal property at gunpoint. After raping and robbing Victim-1, McNair-Matthews abandoned Victim-1, took Victim-1’s car, and fled. McNair-Matthews then drove Victim-1’s car to Delaware convenience stores and withdrew money from Victim-1’s bank accounts via ATM transactions.
McNair-Matthews then reunited with Hinson, Powell, and Caldwell in Wilmington, Delaware and delivered them Victim-1’s bank cards, Victim-1’s PIN, and the ghost gun. At McNair-Matthews’ direction, Hinson, Powell, and Caldwell then cleaned Victim-1’s car and removed personal property, including a designer purse, from Victim-1’s vehicle. Hinson and Caldwell then travelled in a stolen Nissan Pathfinder to local gas stations to withdraw money from ATMs. McNair-Matthews, who attempted to evade detection by switching clothes, and Powell drove the stolen Jeep to a Wilmington, Delaware gas station to meet Hinson and Caldwell.
Law enforcement tracked the Defendants to that Wilmington gas station. On sight, McNair-Matthews and Powell led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in the Jeep and evaded capture. Shortly thereafter, Hinson and Caldwell attempted to rendezvous with McNair-Matthews and Powell in Pennsylvania. While on I-95 North, Hinson and Caldwell, in the stolen Nissan Pathfinder, collided with another vehicle. After the collision, Caldwell brandished and pointed the ghost gun given to him by McNair-Matthews at the driver of the other car. Later, while travelling back to Delaware from Pennsylvania on I-95 South, Hinson and Caldwell led law enforcement on a miles-long high-speed chase before colliding with another vehicle and crashing into an exit ramp sign. Hinson and Caldwell fled on foot, tossed the ghost gun, but were quickly apprehended. Powell was arrested on April 17, 2023. Defendant McNair was arrested that same day in Maryland, after fleeing from law enforcement.
All defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Hobbs Act Robbery, Carjacking, Hobbs Act Robbery, and Brandishing and Use of a Firearm in Relation to a Hobbs Act Robbery charge. McNair-Matthews is also charged with Kidnapping causing serious bodily injury and brandishing and use of a firearm during his rape and robbery of Victim-1. Hinson, Caldwell, and Powell are charged with Accessory After the Fact for their role in Victim-1’s kidnapping. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
In announcing the charges, U.S. Attorney Weiss, Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, and Delaware State Police Troop 2 Commander Capt. John Laird, Jr. commended the work of those who investigated the case, including the Delaware State Police Criminal Investigations Unit, FBI's Delaware Violent Crime and Safe Streets Taskforce, Pennsylvania State Police, Wilmington Police Department, Maryland State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Delaware Department of Justice. Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin P. Pierce and Samuel S. Frey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Diana Dunn are assigned to prosecute the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 23-68.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.