Video, photos bring 2015 New London shooting into focus at murder trial
Jurors on Wednesday, the second day of Shaquan Lee-Seales' murder trial in New London Superior Court, viewed video and photographs taken by investigators on the foggy morning of Dec. 11, 2015.
A pink-tinged video taken by state police Detective Jeffrey Payette zoomed in on six 9 mm shell casings ejected from a handgun into a group standing near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Grand Street. One of the bullets struck Gilberto Olivencia in the back and traveled through to his chest, according to testimony. Drops of blood fell onto the sidewalk from the corner of Connecticut and Grand to the enclosed front porch of 8 Grand St., where police found the dying Olivencia gasping for breath and unable to identify his killer.
The crime squad documented collateral damage from the shooting, as well. Three cars along Grand Street, a narrow lane just a tenth of a mile long, had been struck by bullets and sustained what Payette described on the witness stand as "defects." One projectile went into the back window of a red pickup truck and came out the front window, leaving a spider-webbed hole. Another traveled the length of the street and lodged in the siding of a home on Jefferson Avenue.
The homicide was the neighborhood's third within five years and prompted area residents to march through the streets calling for more police presence, better lighting and attention to blighted properties.
Another young man, Travon Brown, died violently on Grand Street after being fatally stabbed in December 2017.
Lee-Seales, hunched at the defense table in shirt, vest and slacks, hardly was mentioned on the witness stand as prosecutors called on detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad and New London Police Department to lay out the crime in stark detail for the jury of 12 regular members and four alternates.
On Thursday, the state is expected to begin calling civilian witnesses in its attempt to prove that Lee-Seales, an alleged drug dealer, opened fire at a group of people as he sought revenge for an earlier dispute. The jury heard some of their names Wednesday as New London Police Detective William Pero described interviews the investigators conducted in the days after Olivencia's murder. Pero testified that many of the key witnesses provided written statements and most of their interviews were videotaped at city police headquarters.
The jury got a glimpse of the event that allegedly prompted the shooting at the end of the day as the state introduced surveillance video under the testimony of Detective Richard Curcuro, who said he captured the video at 93 State Pier Road. The footage appears to show an encounter in which Lee-Seales allegedly assaulted and robbed a 17-year-old drug dealer who "disrespected" him.
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