Victim Takes Stand, Says she was Stuffed in Trunk - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Victim Takes Stand, Says she was Stuffed in Trunk

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - In an emotional testimony, Margaret Smith said she was carjacked, shoved in the trunk of her own car, and left there for two days before being dumped in a secluded cemetery. Shockingly, the 89-year old woman survived the ordeal and is now testifying against one of the alleged suspects. 

19-year old Rondaiges Harper faces one count of carjacking in the first degree, one count in kidnapping in the first degree, and two counts of conspiracy in the second degree. All together, this could lead to more than 50 years of jail time if found guilty. 

Harper wore an orange Department of Corrections prison garb as two guards surrounded him. When Smith walked in the room, he along with everyone else in the courtroom was silent. On the stand, the now 90-year old woman told a grueling story. 

"I got shoved in the trunk of my car..." she said. "I couldn't do a thing." 

She said she was kidnapped by two young teenage girls, Junia McDonald who was 14 years old at the time and Jackeline Perez, who was 15 years old. The state argued the two girls then picked up the defendant, along with another 17-year-old teenager named Phillip Brewer. 

Smith testified that for two days she was kept in the trunk of the car without food or drink. She said she was forced to urinate on herself, since the drivers would not let her out of the car. Smith said the driver was moving quickly, sending her from side to side in the cramped Buick trunk. 

"What did you do to pass the time," asked state attorney Melanie Withers.

"I prayed first thing," Smith responded. "Nothing else I could do." 

Eventually Smith was released from the car at a cemetery in Seaford. She told the jury that she crawled along the dirt looking for help. Fortunately she was found by a passerby visiting their son's gravestone. Despite this incident, Smith said she has remained positive. 

"I'm still living," she said. "I'm still all good." 

Harper's attorney, John Brady said his client is guilty of bad judgement, but said he was not guilty of carjacking or kidnapping. He said something of fundamental importance was that Harper was not even there when the initial incident of carjacking and kidnapping took place. 

"So far we've heard from a number of witnesses," he said. "None of the witnesses that have testified, including Mrs. Smith, tie my client to the carjacking whatsoever." 

After Smith, the state also called Phillip Brewer, a long-time friend of the defendant. Brewer, who was 17 years old at the time was also in the stolen car. He received a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. Part of the cooperation clause mandated that he testified against the three other teenaged friends. 

Brewer told the jury that he and Harper were aware of Smith being in the trunk, but said they did nothing to help the woman escape. Brewer plead guilty to one count of kidnapping in the second degree and one count of carjacking in the second degree. He could face more than 20 years in prison. 

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