Jury convicts Queens man in Norwich mistaken identity murder
A New London Superior Court jury today found Daquan “Q” Holmes guilty of murder and attempted murder in the May 21, 2011 shooting death of Johnny Amy, a man the prosecution said was not the intended target.
The jury of 12 deliberated all day Thursday and 45 minutes today before announcing the verdict. Holmes, 27, faces up to 80 years in prison when Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed sentences him on July 14.
Holmes, of Queens, N.Y., was staying in Norwich when the shooting occurred and fled to New York afterwards, according to testimony. He was serving time for an armed robbery when Norwich police brought him to Connecticut last year to face murder charges. In taking the case to trial, he rejected an offer from the state to plead guilty in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. Hearing the verdict, he turned toward female family members in the gallery who burst into tears.
Mario Amy, father of the 25-year-old victim, was in court with his daughter and brother.
“I’m pretty happy now,” he said, adding that his son had been killed “for no reason.”
According to testimony, Amy, a father of a young boy, had worked his shift at Foxwoods, then spent some time at a downtown Norwich apartment with a friend, Joseph Cadet, before they left to walk home. Around the same time, Holmes and William “Trig” Long, out that night with two women, had an argument with Cornelius Wingate outside of Chacers Bar on Franklin Street. Wingate testified that he was too drunk to remember the encounter but that he was stabbed during the incident.
Maria Fluker and Roberta Karr, who were with Holmes and Long that night had served as key witnesses at the trial. They said after the beef at Chacers, Long retrieved a Ruger .22 pistol from his East Main Street apartment. Fluker drove to the area of Oak and Franklin streets, where Fluker said Long handed the gun to Holmes. When they came upon Amy and Cadet walking down the street, she said Long and Holmes jumped out of the car and she heard gunfire.
She said Long threw the pistol out the car window as they fled the scene, and police recovered it in the grass on the northwest corner of Roath and Mullen streets. The police recovered a bullet of the same caliber at Long’s apartment. He has been incarcerated on murder charges since September 2011 and his case is pending in the same court.
During the trial, the jury had watched footage captured by a surveillance camera at a nearby laundromat that shows Amy behind Cadet on Franklin Street before collapsing suddenly in the middle of the street. Cadet testified that he told the men who pulled up to them that night that they had the wrong person.
Prosecutor Stephen M. Carney said both Wingate and Amy were wearing red shirts that night. After the verdict, Carney said he was impressed with how hard the jury had worked. During deliberations, the panel watched a three-hour video of a police interrogation of Holmes even though the videotape did not contain a confession.
“They were very conscientious in making sure they understood all the evidence,” Carney said.
Defense attorney Christopher Duby, who did not call any witnesses at the trial, declined to comment on the verdict.
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