A Smyrna man who had been on parole and probation was recently sentenced to 32 years in prison for the attempted robbery at gunpoint of an Amish couple in Hartly this past summer.
Mark Carter, 46, was sentenced by Kent County Superior Court Judge Robert Young to the lengthy prison sentence, followed by several years of probation, during court proceedings at the Kent County Courthouse Jan. 31, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said Feb. 1.
"We'll always pursue harsh penalties for those who commit crime with guns," Biden said. "Society is a safer place with this dangerous criminal behind bars."
Carter pled guilty on Dec. 6, 2012 to 2 counts of attempted robbery, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of burglary, according to court records.
Carter confronted the couple at a rural intersection near Hartly while they were riding home in their horse and buggy, Delaware State Police had said. Carter pulled his vehicle in front of them, exited the car with a gun and threatened to shoot them unless they turned over cash. When no money was provided, Carter returned to his car and left the scene.
Police were immediately notified of the incident, along with a description of Carter's vehicle, and pulled him over shortly afterward, finding a loaded handgun in his possession.
At the time of his arrest, Carter was serving parole and probation for multiple previous convictions. These include a life sentence, for which he was later paroled, for a 1985 home invasion and armed robbery during which he tied up a victim, stole a car, and committed additional robberies in Maryland. After his parole was granted, Carter committed a series of new burglary offenses in Delaware for which he was convicted in 2001, and while serving this sentence he was convicted of assault in a detention facility for an April 2005 incident in which he severely beat a fellow inmate.
Carter had most recently been released from prison in 2011.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General R. David Favata.