Outside Superior Court in Derby Tuesday, the relatives of the Ansonia man accused of murdering his cousin asked for two things — prayers and patience.
The prayers are for the immediate family of Javon Zimmerman, 22, who was gunned down in the parking lot of RJ’s Cafe in Derby May 12.
The patience is for the public, whom the family asked to withhold judgment as the murder case against 24-year-old Cordaryl Silva gets underway.
Silva was arraigned Tuesday in front of Judge Burton Kaplan, who ordered him held in lieu of $2 million bond and transferred the case to Superior Court in Milford. Silva’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 26.
Silva’s supporters flatly declined to talk with reporters about the case after the arraignment, but they gave the Valley Indy an extensive written statement.
The statement doesn’t go into details about what may or may not have happened outside the Elizabeth Street bar last month — but it does provide a glimpse into the anguish felt by the Silva and Zimmerman families, who all have extensive roots in the Naugatuck Valley.
“This is a tragedy for all the families involved,” the statement begins. “We would first like to extend our sincere condolences to the Zimmerman and Hall family for the loss of their son. We will continue to lift up all families in a prayer of comfort, healing and peace. We will also pray for the alleviation of violence amongst our young people.”
The statement then pleads for judgment to be reserved.
“Only the people that were involved and present for this horrible act of violence really know what actually happened. Therefore, we as a family will continue to support our family member at this very difficult time and depend on the law to either prove his innocence through trial or render his punishment.”
“Just keep in mind that one is assumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” the statement concludes.
According to police, Silva shot Zimmerman several times outside RJ’s at about 2 a.m. as the bar at 148 Elizabeth St. was closing.
Police charged Silva Monday, after he appeared in Derby court for an appearance on an unrelated criminal case. Silva has been in jail since mid-May, when he was picked up in Ansonia on an alleged probation violation.
The arrest warrant used to charge Silva is sealed, so precisely what police believe happened in the early morning hours of May 12 — and what led investigators to charge Silva — remains unknown.
Two days after the shooting, Carolyn Zimmerman, Javon’s mother, told the Valley Indy Silva is Javon’s second cousin and that witnesses told her that Silva shot her son.
“They had a few words and my son was saying ‘Go ahead, go ahead.’ Then he (Silva) pulled out the gun,” she said at the time.
Zimmerman said she didn’t know why her son was shot. The cousin had been lashing out through social media, Zimmerman said.
“They say he’s just angry. He’s been going around on Facebook, threatening people and saying different things about people and what he’s going to do and who he’s beefing with,” she said last month. “I don’t know because I really don’t know those people.”
Silva’s Facebook account, which has since either been deleted or made private, indicated he was angry over a failed relationship with a girl. Some old Facebook status updates indicated he was also angry over a perceived lack of respect for doing jail time.
There were no obvious threats of violence on his Facebook account.
At court Tuesday, a woman identifying herself as a cousin of Zimmerman and two of his friends attended Silva’s arraignment wearing buttons with Zimmerman’s picture and writing that said “Forever In Our Hearts” and “Gone But Not Forgotten.”
They left the courthouse in tears, noting that Silva, during their brief glimpse of him during Tuesday’s appearance, didn’t seem at all bothered to be facing the murder charge.
They declined to answer questions, saying it would be too upsetting.
The public defender representing Silva during the arraignment, Jonathan Gable, said any bond argument would be “essentially academic” because his client has been in jail on the violation of probation charge and can’t pay the $250,000 bond in that case.
Derby police Lt. Justin Stanko said Monday that the arrest warrant used to charge Silva was sealed to protect the identities of witnesses who came forward in the case.
Zimmerman was a player in the Valley’s narcotics trade, according to Ansonia police.
In fact, prior to his murder, Zimmerman was one of the “prime targets” in an Ansonia police drug investigation that resulted in nine arrests June 1.