WILMINGTON, Del. – Dalton R. Truitt, 32, of Bridgeville, Del., and Kentae D. Watts, 29, of Bridgeville, Del., were each sentenced to seven (7) years of imprisonment for their roles in in a Seaford, Del. home invasion committed on May 1, 2014, announced Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware. Truitt and Watts were also sentenced to five (5) years of supervised release following their prison sentences.
According to statements made at the sentencing hearings and other documents filed in court, shortly after midnight on May 1, 2014, Truitt, Watts, and two other men went to the Seaford, Delaware residence of Kevin Barnes and his girlfriend Laura Taylor with the intent to steal Barnes’ heroin stash and money at gunpoint.
Through a window, Barnes caught a glimpse of one of the robbers outside his house, carrying an assault-type rifle. He told his girlfriend to call 911 (which she did, from the bedroom closet), and he armed himself with a handgun. Watts then kicked down the door, at which point Barnes opened fire. All four robbers fled. At least one of them returned fire towards the house.
Police arrived shortly thereafter and pulled over Watts and Truitt in a car nearby. The other two robbers got away. Inside the car that Watts and Truitt were in, officers found two 9mm magazines and black clothing. Inside Barnes’ residence, officers found three handguns, as well as over 100 grams of heroin and $5,000 in cash – all of which Barnes admitted belonged to him. An assault-type rifle, handgun, and machete were discarded by the fleeing robbers and later recovered in the area.
Barnes pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges related to the incident, for which he was sentenced on October 15, 2015, to 80 months of imprisonment, to be followed by four (4) years of supervised release.
The case is the product of an investigation conducted by the Wilmington Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Delaware State Police, and the Dover Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth L. Van Pelt and former Assistant United States Attorney Mark M. Lee prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.