The case against the trio charged in the ambush shooting of a man in Derby last summer is stalled as the parties wait for the results of forensic DNA tests.
Daycus Bailey, 27, Stephen Cook, 29 and Robert Smith, 28, were all charged with first-degree assault with a firearm and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault with a firearm in the Aug. 25 shooting of 35-year-old Kierron “Koko” Stanley.
Police said the trio rammed Stanley’s GMC Yukon with their stolen Crown Victoria at the intersection of Chapel and Elm streets as Stanley was leaving work. They opened fire, according to police, “firing wildly” at Stanley, who managed to jump out of his SUV and run down Chapel.
Stanley survived the attack, despite being shot in the chin, upper torso, leg and buttocks.
Derby police have a strong case against the men. It includes witness descriptions and physical evidence, including a mask police said Bailey tried to hide after the shooting.
Plus, the trio was taken into custody near the shooting within 20 minutes. One officer, according to a search and seizure warrant, said he saw Bailey running from the scene.
However, missing from the case — the weapons used to shoot Stanley.
Despite extensive searches of the woods along Chapel and Elm streets — and a search of the nearby Housatonic River — the weapons were not recovered.
Watch the video to see one of the suspects being taken into custody after the shooting.
Investigators from the state police Central District Major Crime Squad processed the crime scene and found several bullet casings and fragments. They determined at least two handguns were used.
The outcome of the case hinges on the results of the forensic tests, said Howard I. Gemeiner, the attorney representing Smith.
The test results will help decide whether the case heads toward plea bargain or trial.
A motive for the shooting hasn’t been stated, but the Chapel Street shooting and a later shooting on Hawthorne Avenue were thought to be connected to earlier gun play on the streets of New Haven.
The Victim’s Account
A search and seizure warrant application filed in September by Derby police includes Stanley’s account of being shot.
He had just left Whalley Glass and was approaching the Elm Street intersection when he saw the white Crown Victoria. It looked just like an unmarked police car, Stanley said.
Then it rammed him — then he heard the shots.
He tried putting his SUV in reverse. It didn’t work.
He saw a man wearing a black mask approaching. Stanley got out and ran, according to the document.
“As he was running toward the building, he felt himself get shot in the leg,” officers wrote. “As he fell down, Stanley believes he was shot in the face.”
Bailey, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail in the Bridgeport jail, is schedule to appear at Superior Court in Milford on April 22.
Smith is also being held on $1 million bail. He’s due in court April 29.
Cook, meanwhile, appeared Thursday in front of Judge Eddie Rodriguez, Jr. in Milford, where his attorney, Jeffrey Beck, tried to get his bail lowered from $500,000 to $100,000.
Beck argued that because a gunshot residue test taken from Cook at the time of his arrest came back negative, his bond should be lowered.
Beck also argued for the reduction based on the fact the case has been pending for eight months while everyone waits for the DNA results.
“My client has been patiently waiting,” Beck said.
Prosecutors argued against a bond reduction, citing Cook’s prior record, which includes five felony convictions and a probation violation.
Judge Rodriguez denied the request.