Wicomico Sheriff's Deputy Cleared in Deadly March Shooting - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wicomico Sheriff's Deputy Cleared in Deadly March Shooting

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Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Jones (Photo: WCSO) Wicomico County Sheriff's Deputy Ben Jones (Photo: WCSO)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md - A Wicomico County sheriff's deputy involved in a deadly shooting back in March has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Wicomico County State's Attorney Matt Maciarello held a press conference on Tuesday morning to reveal the results of his months-long investigation into the incident.

Prior to the shooting in the early morning hours of March 3 on Dennis Street just outside of city limits, Maciarello said there was an incident back in February in which a man fired shot gun shells in a home in the same neighborhood.  Then, a woman informed police that a man made threats to "shoot up her home," also in the same area around Dennis Street.  Because of these prior incidents, the sheriff's office increased patrols in that community.

Maciarello said on the morning of March 3, Deputy Benjamin Jones asked two men to stop who were walking in the middle of Dennis Street before 2 a.m. One man was Chris Carter, the other was Fednel Rhinvil.  Police said Rhinvil refused to stop for Jones and eventually he began to run.  Jones chased him down and a struggle ensued between the two. Rhinvil ended up on top of Jones, according to Maciarello.

"At that moment, Jones explained that Rhinvil pulled a revolver with a shiny barrel and a cylinder.  Jones clarified in his statement that it was going to be him or me" and he was in quote, 'fear for his life,' end quote," Maciarello said during Tuesday's press conference. 

Jones ended up firing four shots at Rhinvil who was struck in the hand, head, and twice in the chest.  Maciarello said Rhinvil's gun was loaded with four live rounds and was cocked back and ready to be fired.  Jones also told police that he warned Rhinvil he was going to shoot twice, a warning that Carter recalls hearing.  After months of investigating, Maciarello said Jones was justified in his shooting of Rhinvil.

"I will say this, Deputy Jones is completely lucky that he got to go home after a short visit at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.  That he got to go home and back to his family," Maciaraello said. 

Rhinvil was a convicted felon and Maciarello said it was illegal for him to be carrying a firearm.  The state's attorney also revealed that the last record of the gun Rhinvil had was its purchase back in Chicago in the late 1950s.

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