January 22, 2018
in the first case, charging the defendant with the crimes of
possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent
to sell, possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, and
criminal possession of a pistol, and with possession of less
than one-half ounce of a cannabis-type substance and the
infractions of improper use of a marker, operating a motor
vehicle with a suspended license, operating an unregistered
motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle without minimum
insurance, and information, in the second case, charging the
defendant with the crime of murder, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of New London, geographical
area number twenty-one, where the court, Jongbloed,
J., granted the state's motion for joinder;
thereafter, the state filed a substitute information;
subsequently, the matter was tried to the jury; verdicts and
judgments of guilty of murder, carrying a pistol without a
permit and possession of narcotics; thereafter, the state
entered a nolle prosequi as to the remaining charges, and the
defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.
Simmons, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).
Lawrence J. Tytla, supervisory assistant state's
attorney, with whom, on the brief, was Michael L. Regan,
state's attorney, for the appellee (state).
Alvord, Keller and Bishop, Js.
defendant, Dequan McKethan, appeals from the judgments of
conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, carrying a
pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes
§ 29-35 (a), and possession of narcotics in violation of
General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). On appeal, the defendant
claims that the trial court improperly granted the
state's motion for joinder of the two separate cases
against him for trial. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm
the judgments of the trial court.
basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably
could have found the following facts. On September 24, 2012,
the defendant left the house that he shared with his
girlfriend, Chelsea Vanderslice, on Summit Street in Norwich
between 9:45 and 10 p.m. The defendant went back to his house
around 10:45 or 11 p.m. but left again. The defendant gave
his car keys to Duryll Barham and asked Barham to watch his
car. Barham called the defendant around 2 or 3 a.m., and the
defendant told him to return the car in front of the
defendant's house, which Barham later did.
defendant knew the victim, Darius Bishop, because the victim
had previously sold the defendant marijuana. On the night of
September 24, 2012, the victim called the defendant's
cell phone four times between 10:11 and 10:26 p.m. In that
same time period, the defendant called the victim's cell
phone twice. By 1 a.m. on September 25th, the defendant and
the victim were at the same location. Sometime between 2 and
3 a.m., they ended up outside the Charles Long Sports
Complexin Bozrah, where the defendant shot the victim in the
head, killing him.
State Police responded to a 911 call around 7 a.m. and found
the victim's body lying face down. He was barefoot, with
his shoes lying next to his body and his driver's license
in his left hand. A single .22 caliber shell casing was found
on the ground underneath the victim's head. The brand of
the shell casing was Super-X.
Frank Callender, a Norwich police officer, found the
victim's car parked on Bills Avenue in Norwich the next
day, on September 26, 2012. Bills Avenue intersects with
Summit Street, where the defendant lived.
same day, Officer Avery Marsh, also with the Norwich Police
Department, was patrolling the area of Summit Street. He
observed the defendant's red Nissan Maxima, which did not
have a front license plate displayed. Through a check with
the Department of Motor Vehicles, Officer Marsh discovered
that the rear license plate on the red Nissan Maxima was
registered to a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. After learning this
information, Officer Marsh conducted surveillance of the car
from a distance and eventually observed the defendant get
into the car and drive south on Summit Street. Officer Marsh
lost sight of the vehicle soon thereafter.
next day, on September 27, 2012, Officer Marsh returned to
the area of Summit Street and observed the defendant and
Vanderslice occupying the red Nissan Maxima. Eventually,