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Lewes, Delaware
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May 2, 2003     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 2003

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64- CAPE , Friday, May 2 - May 8, 2003 Det. Keith Marvel of the Delaware State Police Ham/tide Unit was named 2002 Trooper of the Year for his myriad of accomplishments relating to homi cide investigations that resulted in convictions, as well as his work solving cold cases. Shown during the April 25 awards presentation are (l-r) Superin- tendent L. Aaron Chaffinch, Gay. Ruth Ann I#Anner, mrvel, Lt. Gay. John Car- ney and Department of Public Safety Secretary James I Ford. Kern/KmW photos The Delaware State Police honored flive c/v/lians and numerous troopers for/heir contributions to the state's citizens, during an awards ceremony, April 25, at the Dover Downs Convention Center. Local troopers and com- manding officers shown are (l-r) CpL Robert Truitt of Troop 5, Exceptional Performance Aw,d; Lt. Mark Rust, Troop 5 deputy commander;, Trooper Lance P. Skinner of Troop 4, Exceptional Performance Award;'CpL Stephen M/tchell of Troop 4, Superintendent's Citation; Capt.'Greg Nolt, TroOp 7 com- mander;, CpL Rusty Parker of Troop 7, Exceptional Performance Award; 8gt. Robert Hudson, Lifesaving Award; and LL Bruce VonGoerres, Troop 4 deputy commander. Marvel named Trooper of the Year - By Kerry Kester The Delaware State Police top administrators selected a Sussex County man for the division's highest honor: Trooper. of the. Year. Det. Keith Marvel, a 15- year-veteran who is assigned to the Homicide Unit, has many times provided the Attorney Gen- eral's Office with the evidence that led to heinous murderers be- ing convicted and sent to jail. The quiet, unassuming man is known for his meticulous atten- lion to detail, continuing his edu- cation in the latest forensic evi- dence techniques and his willing- ness to tackle challenges such as cold cases. "He has examined 70 homicide scenes and has been the lead crim- inalistics officer on over 50 homi- cide investigations," said Superin- tendent Col. L. Aaron Chaffinch. "During the year 2002, this troop- er was able to manage a tremen- dous caseload. "Not only was Det. Marvel the full-time criminalistics officer and supervisor, he also accepted the additional responsibility of being the lead investigator on the Sproates/Charbonneau investiga- tion," said Chaffinch. Willie Brown pleaded guilty, April 24, to murdering John Charbonneau and William H. Sproates III in Sep- tember 2001. The murder is allegedly a con- spiracy involving Brown's wife, Melissa Rucinski, and Charbon- neau's wife, Linda Charbonneau. Brown will be sentenced after the women's trials. "This was a com- plex and long-term investigation, which required his attention throughout the courseof the year," said Chaffinch. "The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit enjoys a respected reputation and had a clearance rate of 91 percent for new cases during 2002, which is well above the na- tional average. Many strengths or weaknesses of every criminal case revolve around physical evidence. How well the evidence was docu- mented, collected, preserved and analyzed is always challenged at the time of trial. The success of the Homicide Unit is due in large part to the professionalism, com- passion, motivation, versat!lity, attention to detail and dedication displayed by Det. Marvel." The Charbonneau/Sproates in- vestigation was Marvel's first time as lead investigator on an ac- tive homicide case. "I was not prepared for the tremendous Continued on page 65 Great Selection of Sleep Sofas from Sealy, Klausser, England, Flexsteel, Overnite Sofa, Ashley, Carlton Acacia Rattan & Classic Rattan ALL AT DISCOUNT PRICES Ask about the new air mattress "We trim our prices.not our customers" 302.227.8100 800.675.2007. 4424 Highway One Rehoboth Beach, DE (between the Outlets) Man.- Fri. 10-6 Sot. 9-5 Sun. Noon-4 Webster Furniture...servicing your beach home & renta/ property needs for 54 years.