City man arrested, charged in connection with fatal shooting

Davion Smith appears with his attorney, Carmine Giuliano, right, as Smith is arraigned Wednesday at Superior Court in New London on charges stemming from the Nov. 12 slaying of Jorge Rosa in New London.
Davion Smith appears with his attorney, Carmine Giuliano, right, as Smith is arraigned Wednesday at Superior Court in New London on charges stemming from the Nov. 12 slaying of Jorge Rosa in New London. Tim Cook/The Day

New London — Davion Smith's last-ditch attempt to elude authorities who were looking for him in connection with the November murder of Jorge "Loco" Rosa was to jump out of a second-story apartment window in New London while his mother spoke to police at the front door.

Smith, 19, of 93 State Pier Road was caught Tuesday night and charged with murder, home invasion and first-degree burglary. He remains in custody on $1 million bond after his arraignment on Wednesday.

New London police went to 187 Huntington St., Apt. B2, Tuesday night after they learned that Smith was there. Smith's aunt, Tara Smith, lives at that address.

When police knocked on the door, Smith's mother, Destina Wilbourne, who lives in Niantic, said she could not talk to them and that she had children in the house, according to an incident report.

Police then asked Wilbourne to step outside and put down a cellphone she was attempting to use, the report said. She told police that her son was not in the house.

As she said this, Smith was attempting to climb out of a second-floor window, police said. Police entered the house and arrested Smith around 8:50 p.m.

Wilbourne was charged with interfering with police and hindering prosecution. She also was arraigned Wednesday and was released on a promise to appear in court.

At a brief court appearance Wednesday in New London Superior Court, a bail commissioner said Smith had no adult convictions but still recommended that the bond remain at $1 million because of the serious nature of the charges.

Defense attorney Carmine Giuliano, who is representing Smith only for his bond hearing, suggested that the state's case against Smith was weak. "I don't see how the state's case can proceed without more evidence," he added. "He was at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Judge Stuart Schimelman said that Smith is charged with the three most serious felonies and, while he was not the judge who signed the warrant, he agreed that there was enough probable cause to support the allegations. "Whether a principal or accessory, the penalties are the same," he said.

Schimelman agreed with the bail commissioner and set the bond at $1 million. Smith's case was transferred to the courthouse on Huntington Street, where more serious crimes are heard. His next court date is April 3.

Smith has been free since Rosa was gunned down in his Montauk Avenue home in New London on Nov. 12. Smith's co-defendant, Evan J. Holmes, 20, was arraigned on the same charges Nov. 15.

Smith's friends and relatives who were present in court Wednesday declined comment. A warrant in the case is sealed.

In an email Wednesday, Police Chief Margaret Ackley said Smith was not armed when apprehended but added that weapons were found in the apartment.

Police do not know where Smith had been hiding for the last four months, Ackley said, but he was apprehended "through great police work."

Rosa's mother, Bridgette Feliciano, said a detective contacted her late Tuesday night to tell her that Smith had been arrested. "I'm happy they got him, but it's still not going to bring my son back," she said.

Feliciano said she is also following the Holmes case.

The woman who was with Rosa the night he was shot told police she previously had dated Holmes.

"The way they killed my son, it's more than jealously, it's something ugly," Feliciano said. "It's going to hurt me but I need to know the truth."

Feliciano said Smith and her son weren't close but they knew each other. She said Smith had met her granddaughter, Gianna, who turned 7 in January.

"If you asked anyone who knew my son, his daughter was always his treasure, his number one, everything was for her," Feliciano said. "It's hard she's without no dad. It was her first Christmas, her first birthday without her dad. He was always around."

Nine days before Rosa was shot and killed in his bed, Holmes was released after serving an 18-month prison sentence for an unrelated shooting. He is accused of violating the terms of his probation by committing the new crime.

Rosa, 25, was able to speak after he was shot but was pronounced dead by paramedics at 4:35 a.m., 18 minutes after his girlfriend called 911 to report the shooting, according to the affidavit in Holmes' arrest. Rosa had suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, torso and genitals.

Holmes was arrested in Old Saybrook hours after the shooting, but Smith eluded police until Tuesday. Holmes, who remains incarcerated on $500,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court March 29.

i.larraneta@theday.com

s.goldstein@theday.com

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