The father of homicide victim Johnny Amy got his first look Thursday at the man accused of shooting his son, an alleged innocent bystander, in the head in Norwich on May 21, 2011.
Daquan "Q" Holmes, 26, a native of Queens, N.Y., was arraigned in Superior Court in Norwich on charges of murder and attempted murder.
Norwich police said Holmes fled to Queens following the shooting incident on Franklin Street and was subsequently arrested for the armed robbery of a check-cashing business. Holmes was convicted of the robbery and has been in custody since that time at the Five Points Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Romulus, N.Y.
Holmes refused to voluntarily waive extradition and was extradited to Connecticut on the strength of a governor's warrant. Under the interstate agreement, Holmes' trial must begin within 120 days of his return to Connecticut unless he waives the time period.
Mario Amy, the father of the 25-year-old victim, waited quietly to get a look at his son's accused killer. His eyes moistened as he briefly talked about his son's death. Amy left behind a son, and the boy, now 4, is being raised by his mother, Mario Amy said.
Holmes, led into the courtroom in leg irons, bowed his head for most of the time that he stood before Judge Barbara B. Jongbloed. The judge kept his bond at $1 million and transferred the case to the New London court where major crimes are heard. His next court date is July 15.
According to police, Amy had been walking on Franklin Street with another man about 2:30 a.m. when Holmes pulled up in a car with William A. "Trig" Long and two women. Holmes is accused of shooting Amy with a Ruger .22-caliber pistol provided by Long after Holmes was involved in an altercation at Chacers bar on Franklin Street. Long has been in custody since shortly after the shooting.
None of the court documents or testimony at a November 2011 probable cause hearing in Long's case indicate that Amy was involved in the altercation, and a man who was with Amy that night reportedly told Holmes, "You got the wrong guy."
Two of the state's key witnesses are women who were with Holmes and Long on the night of the shooting.
Holmes' girlfriend Maria Fluker, a mother of two from Stonington, testified that she drove Holmes, Long and others to the scene of the shooting and took Holmes to New York City a day later. Fluker, charged with hindering prosecution, is cooperating with the state. Her case is on hold until the Holmes and Long cases are resolved.
Fluker said at the probable cause hearing that she was driving her father's Lexus that night when she picked up Holmes, Long and two others from a Franklin Street home across the street from Chacers bar. She said Holmes and his brother, Ronald Holmes, got into a fight in front of the bar and people began throwing bricks at her car, Fluker testified.
She said she drove the Holmes brothers, Long and another woman, Roberta Karr, to Long's apartment on East Main Street, where he retrieved a Ruger .22 pistol before returning to the back seat of her car. She said she looked through the rearview mirror and saw Long hand the gun to Holmes.
They drove to the area of Oak and Franklin streets, where Fluker said two "kids" were walking down the street from Boswell Avenue. She said Holmes and Long jumped out of the car and one of the "kids" said, "If you know what's best for you get back in your car." She turned her head to speak to Karr and heard what sounded like fireworks.
"I turned my head to the left and saw Daquan holding the gun," she said. "I looked in front of me, and I saw a kid falling to the ground."
Amy, who was breathing but unconscious when emergency officials arrived at the scene, died at The William W. Backus Hospital. At his autopsy, a medical examiner removed a bullet from his brain, according to police.
Long threw the pistol out the car window as they fled the scene, according to testimony. Police said they recovered it in the grass on the northwest corner of Roath and Mullen streets.
Fluker said she drove to the Days Inn in Mystic, where she rented a room. At Holmes' request, she said she took the shirt he had been wearing and threw it into the woods at the nearby Deer Ridge housing complex. She and Holmes eventually returned to her father's home in Stonington, she said, leaving Long and the others at the Days Inn. The next day, she said Holmes forced her to drive him to Queens.
Long, arrested in September 2011, is charged with murder, criminal attempt to commit murder and accessory to murder. He is being held in lieu of a $750,000 bond.