State v. Reddick

Decision Date11 July 2017
Docket NumberAC 38446
Citation174 Conn.App. 536,166 A.3d 754
CourtConnecticut Court of Appeals
Parties STATE of Connecticut v. Jermaine E. REDDICK

Robert E. Byron, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

Sarah Hanna, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Patrick J. Griffin, state's attorney, Michael Dearington, former state's attorney, and Gary W. Nicholson, supervisory assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

Sheldon, Keller and Prescott, Js.


The defendant, Jermaine E. Reddick, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered against him after a jury trial in the judicial district of New Haven, on charges of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a–59 (a) (5), criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a–217 (a) (1), and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a–61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that his conviction should be reversed on grounds that the prosecutor, in his closing argument to the jury, violated his right to a fair trial by (1) improperly commenting on the defendant's failure to inform police officers at the time of his arrest that he had shot the victim in self-defense; (2) offering his personal opinion as to the credibility of a state's witness; and (3) appealing to the emotions of the jurors by injecting extraneous issues into the trial and commenting on the defendant's prior felony conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The jury was presented with the following evidence upon which to base its verdict. In the early morning hours of April 29, 2013, the defendant, along with his girlfriend, Myesha Gainey, and their three year old daughter, J,1 got a ride home from a party they had attended earlier in the evening. Both the defendant and Gainey had been drinking before the ride. At the start of the ride, the defendant was seated in the front passenger seat, while Gainey sat in the backseat with J. At some point during the ride, however, the defendant reached into the backseat, unbuckled J's seat belt, and lifted her into the front seat, where she remained unbuckled for the remainder of the ride. Upon seeing that J was unbuckled in the front seat of the car, Gainey began to argue with the defendant. The argument continued until the couple reached Gainey's home at 38 Peck Street, New Haven, where the defendant stayed several nights a week.

Upon arriving at 38 Peck Street, Gainey took J up to the second floor of the home. There, she told the defendant that she was going to call her mother, Marjorie Tillery, to come over and pick up J.2 The defendant and Gainey then started to argue again. Shortly before 1 a.m., Marjorie Tillery received a phone call from J, who was crying and sounded distraught. During this phone call, Tillery also spoke with Gainey, who sounded emotional and upset. Although Gainey provided few details to her mother about what was happening, Tillery became concerned for Gainey's and J's safety, and agreed to drive over to Peck Street from her home in West Haven.

Thereafter, Tillery woke up the victim, her brother, Mickey Tillery, who was asleep in another room. She told her brother that the defendant had been hitting Gainey, and thus that she wanted him to accompany her to retrieve Gainey and J from New Haven.3 The Tillerys then drove together from West Haven to Lombard Street, New Haven, where Gainey had instructed Marjorie Tillery to meet her.4 After waiting several minutes at that location, the Tillerys left Lombard Street and drove over to Peck Street.5 When they arrived, however, they were unable to find parking in the lot behind Gainey's home, and Marjorie Tillery parked her Chevy Tahoe truck in the middle of the parking lot, blocking several occupied parking spaces. At that time, Marjorie Tillery attempted to call Gainey to inform her that they had arrived at Peck Street. Within minutes of the Tillerys' arrival, a grey station wagon began to back out of a parking spot that was partially blocked by Marjorie Tillery's Tahoe. As she was about to move the Tahoe, Marjorie Tillery observed the defendant in the front passenger seat of the station wagon. She then stated to Mickey Tillery, "there go Jermaine right there."

Upon seeing the defendant in the passenger seat of the station wagon, both Tillerys exited the Tahoe and began to approach the station wagon. Although Marjorie Tillery recalled that she "came in peace,"6 Mickey Tillery admittedly came with the intent to fight the defendant. He testified at trial that, upon seeing the defendant, "I kind of, like, lost it. I jumped out of the truck. I ran over to where he was sitting in the car ...." During this initial encounter, the station wagon remained stationary in its parking space, with its doors unlocked and its passenger window partially down.

As he approached the station wagon, Mickey Tillery began to argue with the defendant, saying "something about [how] I'm tired of this with my niece and then ... like I said, I pushed him, and I just put my hands inside the car and tried to snatch him out and he yanked back." Mickey Tillery also recounted, "I put my hand inside the car so I could snatch him out the car a minute and ... that's why I opened the [passenger] door, but they locked it and then they [rolled] their windows up, and [so] I stepped away from the car and I was just looking because I couldn't get in now that they [had] hatched the windows up and lock[ed] the door."

After the defendant locked the car's doors and rolled up its windows, Mickey Tillery took several steps away from the station wagon in an effort to lure the defendant out of the car. Several seconds later, Mickey Tillery heard the doors of the station wagon unlock, and, believing that he and the defendant were about to fight, Mickey Tillery backed away from the car to allow the defendant to exit the station wagon. The defendant then opened the front passenger side door, exited the vehicle, produced a nine millimeter semiautomatic handgun and shot Mickey Tillery, who, at the time, was stepping away from the vehicle with his hands up in the air. Mickey Tillery immediately collapsed on the pavement. Fearing that the defendant might shoot her as well, Marjorie Tillery got back into the Tahoe. The defendant then returned to the passenger side of the station wagon and got in, after which the station wagon backed out of the parking space, drove around the Tahoe, and exited the parking lot. Immediately after the station wagon left the area, Marjorie Tillery saw Gainey exiting her neighbor's home. Although Gainey had not witnessed the shooting, Marjorie Tillery told her that the defendant had shot Mickey Tillery, who, by then, was lying unconscious near the passenger side of the Tahoe. Marjorie Tillery also dialed 911 and reported the incident to the police.

Officer Reginald E. McGlotten of the New Haven Police Department arrived first on the scene. After speaking with Marjorie Tillery, McGlotten broadcasted a description of the shooter and the station wagon over his police radio. At the time of that broadcast, Officer Gene Trotman, Jr., who was responding to the initial report of a gunshot fired on Peck Street, observed a station wagon matching the broadcast description of the shooter's vehicle traveling near the intersection of Chapel and Church Streets in New Haven. Trotman first called for backup units, then initiated a traffic stop of the station wagon. Once backup units arrived, Trotman approached the station wagon with his weapon drawn. The driver of the station wagon was identified as Akeem Whitely, and his passenger was identified as Jermaine Reddick, the defendant. Trotman asked the defendant where he was then coming from. The defendant responded that he was coming from 38 Peck Street. Trotman asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle, and the defendant stated that there were. The defendant and Whitely were then placed under arrest. A subsequent search of the station wagon revealed a nine millimeter semiautomatic handgun between the front passenger seat and the center console. Upon further questioning, the defendant stated that the gun was his and that Whitely was simply giving him a ride.7

Contemporaneously with this traffic stop, Officer Keron Bryce arrived at Peck Street to secure the scene with McGlotten. While securing the scene, Bryce found one nine millimeter shell casing on the pavement near Marjorie Tillery's Tahoe.8 Bryce then interviewed Marjorie Tillery and Gainey about the events preceding the shooting. During these interviews, Bryce saw a laceration on Gainey's face and noticed that she had a swollen lip. Upon further questioning by the officer, Gainey indicated that the defendant had caused her injuries.

Thereafter, Bryce was notified that Trotman had pulled over a vehicle matching the description given by Marjorie Tillery. Bryce then transported Marjorie Tillery to the intersection of Chapel and Church Streets to conduct a one-on-one showup identification of the suspect.

Once Bryce and Tillery had arrived at Trotman's location, Bryce shined a spotlight on the defendant, who was then sitting in the backseat of a police cruiser. Upon seeing the defendant, Marjorie Tillery positively identified him as the person who had shot her brother. The defendant was then transported to the New Haven Police Department's detention facility for processing. A subsequent background check revealed that the defendant had previously been convicted of a felony.9

A few miles away, Mickey Tillery arrived by ambulance at Yale–New Haven Hospital. There, it was determined that the bullet had struck the femoral artery in his right leg and that he was rapidly losing blood. Doctors first performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation

on Mickey Tillery, then gave him a "massive [blood] transfusion ...." Thereafter, doctors performed reconstructive surgery on his femoral artery to halt the loss of...

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16 cases
  • State v. Carrillo
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • December 14, 2021
    ...statement was calculated solely to appeal to jurors’ emotions because of lack of relevance to issues in case); State v. Reddick , 174 Conn. App. 536, 565, 166 A.3d 754 (concluding that prosecutor's reference to broader issue of gun violence in New Haven was improper because it was extraneou......
  • State v. Hughes
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • November 23, 2021
    ...[but] ... the defendant's belief ultimately must be found to be reasonable."6 (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Reddick , 174 Conn. App. 536, 552, 166 A.3d 754, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 921, 171 A.3d 58 (2017), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S. Ct. 1027, 200 L. Ed. 2d 285 (2018)......
  • State v. Grasso
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • April 9, 2019
    ...omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Clark , 264 Conn. 723, 730–31, 826 A.2d 128 (2003) ; see also State v. Reddick , 174 Conn. App. 536, 552, 166 A.3d 754, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 921, 171 A.3d 58 (2017), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S.Ct. 1027, 200 L.Ed.2d 285 (2018). ......
  • State v. Berrios
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • February 5, 2019
    ...supra, 235 Conn. at 286–87, 664 A.2d 743 ; see also State v. O'Bryan , supra, 318 Conn. at 632–33, 123 A.3d 398 ; State v. Reddick , 174 Conn. App. 536, 552–53, 166 A.3d 754, cert. denied, 327 Conn. 921, 171 A.3d 58 (2017), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S. Ct. 1027, 200 L.Ed. 2d 285 (201......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 books & journal articles
  • A Survey of Criminal Law Opinions
    • United States
    • Connecticut Bar Association Connecticut Bar Journal No. 91, June 2018
    • Invalid date
    ...State v. Talton, 197 Conn. 280, 497 A.2d 35 (1985). [317] Silva, 166 Conn.App. at 285-86. [318] Id. at 286. [319] Id. [320] Id. [321] 174 Conn.App. 536, 166 A.3d 754, cert. Denied, 327 Conn. 921, 171 A.3d 58 (2017). [322] Fletcher v. Weir, 455 U.S. 603 (1982); State v. Leecan, 198 Conn. 517......
  • A Servey of Criminal Law Opinion
    • United States
    • Connecticut Bar Association Connecticut Bar Journal No. 91, June 2018
    • Invalid date
    ...State v. Talton, 197 Conn. 280, 497 A.2d 35 (1985). [317] Silva, 166 Conn. App. at 285-86. [318] Id. at 286. [319] Id. [320] Id. [321] 174 Conn. App. 536, 166 A.3d 754, cert, denied, 327 Conn. 921, 171 A.3d 58 (2017). [322] Fletcher v. Weir, 455 U.S. 603 (1982); State v. Leecan, 198 Conn. 5......

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