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Three Robbers Plead Guilty in New Britain Slashing Case

June 20, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gregg D. Shore, 215.348.6202, gdshore@buckscounty.org

Daron Davis Arthur McCorkle Keliyah Reaves
        Daron Davis                Arthur McCorkle            Keliyah Reaves

Three young adults pleaded guilty this morning to the violent November home-invasion robbery of a New Britain Township man who was left for dead with his throat slashed.

Daron Davis, Arthur McCorkle and Keliyah Reaves are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 26 by Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Raymond F. McHugh, who accepted today’s guilty pleas.

Davis, 20, of Upper Darby, pleaded guilty to attempted homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft and related misdemeanors in the mid-afternoon attack on Thomas Grimes in the 2200 block of Grey Friars Terrace. Davis also pleaded guilty to two felony counts of illegally possessing a firearm.

McCorkle, 20, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, conspiracy to commit all four felonies, and related misdemeanor charges.

Reaves, 21, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, theft, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and related misdemeanors.

All three admitted taking part in a robbery set up by Reaves. She had been involved romantically with a nephew of Grimes’ roommate and had stayed over at the apartment a number of times.

Having noticed a number of valuable items in the apartment, such as watches and designer shoes, Reaves plotted with McCorkle and Davis to take them, said First Assistant District Attorney Gregg D. Shore.

On the afternoon of Nov. 26, Reaves went to a New Britain tavern where Grimes’ roommate worked, telling him she was supposed to meet his nephew at the apartment. The roommate called Grimes and told him to let Reaves inside until the nephew arrived.

Grimes let Reaves into the apartment and went back to bed, having worked much of the previous night. He awakened minutes later to see Davis and McCorkle standing over him with guns, demanding access to a safe and his roommate’s valuables.

When Grimes said he didn’t know the safe’s combination, he was pistol-whipped by McCorkle and bound with tape. The men then showed him a photo of his infant daughter and told Grimes it was the last time he would see her unless he cooperated.

Grimes tried to appease them, Shore said, but was cut and struck several times by the robbers.

As McCorkle and Reaves ransacked the apartment, Davis pushed Grimes’ head down onto his bed and sliced his throat with a box cutter, Shore said. When Grimes tried to push himself up, Davis stabbed him through the back of his neck, leaving him for dead.

“Grimes played dead for a short period of time, then staggered to his feet, wrapped a towel around his neck and, with blood pouring out of his neck, made it to a neighbor’s … who called for help, as Grimes was unable to speak,” Shore said.

At about 11 p.m. that night, all three defendants were stopped by police at a Bensalem motel during an unrelated investigation. Officers arrested Davis for illegally possessing a .38 caliber handgun, but released McCorkle and Reaves.

They were picked up two days later in Philadelphia after Grimes identified them in a photo lineup. A search of McCorkle’s home turned up items stolen from Grimes’ apartment. Davis was wearing the roommate’s stolen Gucci watch and shoes when arrested.

Subsequent searches of the defendants’ cell phones found communications documenting the robbery plans, which began three days beforehand, and discussions of selling the stolen items.

Reaves later told police that Davis and McCorkle, while driving away from the apartment, laughed and bragged about what they had done to Grimes. “It was Reaves’ belief that both McCorkle and Davis believed Grimes to be dead when they left the apartment,” Shore said.

Grimes, 33, was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery for life-threatening wounds to his throat. He spent 10 days in the hospital, had to use a feeding tube for several months, and missed four months of work, Shore said.

The victim was in the courtroom today to witness the pleas.

The case was investigated by the New Britain Township Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives, and is being prosecuted by Shore and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Decker.

Approved for release by Thomas C. Gannon, Deputy District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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