Carjacking Story Changes During Victim's Testimony - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Carjacking Story Changes During Victim's Testimony

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Margaret Smith, from her May interview with WBOC News. Margaret Smith, from her May interview with WBOC News.
Jackeline Perez Jackeline Perez
Junia McDonald Junia McDonald

GEORGETOWN, Del.- The teenagers accused of carjacking an 89-year-old Sussex County woman in March were in court Thursday, along with the alleged victim.

Margaret Smith of Lincoln was the first to take the stand in the hearing to determine whether 15-year-old Jackeline Perez and 14-year-old Junia McDonald, both of Milford, should be prosecuted as adults or juveniles. The teenage girls are accused of kidnapping Smith by throwing her in the truck of her Buick sedan and keeping her locked inside for two days.

Smith's testimony took a turn when she admitted to being removed from the trunk on the second day she was inside, only to be thrown into the trunk of another car. Smith said that soon after switching vehicles, she was dropped off at graveyard in Seaford, where she was later found.

However, Smith's testimony is not consistent with her story from an interview conducted by WBOC News in May.

"I really don't know, I don't remember," Smith said in May, after being asked if the trunk door opened before being dropped off in the graveyard.

Defense attorneys are determined to prove Perez and McDonald did not rob Smith of the $800 she kept pinned underneath her bra, as originally reported.

On Thursday, a Delaware state trooper testified that nurses found the cash under Smith's bra after she was admitted to the hospital for injuries suffered in the graveyard.

"To find out there was no cash taken, there's just a lot of stuff coming out now that people need to realize something's not right," said Karla McDonald, Junia's mother.

During Smith's testimony, prosecutors also asked Smith whether Perez and McDonald gave her food, water and medication while she was in the trunk. However, Smith emphatically denied the claims.

"No, no, no," said Smith while on the stand.

Rondaiges Harper, 17, of Bridgeville was also present for the hearing but is facing a different set of charges for his role in the alleged carjacking.

Perez, McDonald and Harper were all brought into the courtroom shackled and chained, however the security measures were removed after a motion by the defense.

Several other hearings are scheduled to determine whether the teenagers should be prosecuted as adults in Sussex County Superior Court or as juveniles in Sussex County Family Court. A decision is not expected until September at the earliest.

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