Warrant indicates New London stabbing death was retaliation
Travon Brown, fatally wounded after being stabbed on Grand Street in New London last month, identified his longtime friend Jerome Hudson as his killer in a dying declaration to city police Officer Deana Nott, according to a court document.
"Black stabbed me," Brown said, using Hudson's street name. "Black stabbed me on Grand Street."
A newly unsealed arrest warrant affidavit, written by New London police Detective Joshua Bergeson, indicates that Hudson, 28, stabbed Brown, 27, in retaliation for a Nov. 8, 2017, incident on Mountain Avenue in which Brown stabbed Hudson after Hudson attacked Brown. A motive for the ongoing dispute between the two men, who had known one another since their school days, when they played sports together, is not revealed in the affidavit.
Hudson, also known as Irving Jerome Hudson, was arrested on the day of the homicide on unrelated drug charges. He was served with the murder warrant on Dec. 22 and remains incarcerated.
According to the affidavit, Nott was the first officer to arrive at 22 Grand St. for a reported stabbing at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2017. She followed a trail of bloody footprints through the kitchen and found Brown lying on the floor in the front room. He had a large wound on the left side of his chest and had lost a significant amount of blood. As she attempted to help him, she leaned over Brown and asked who stabbed him. Brown grabbed Nott on the side of the head and said, in a weak voice, "Notts, help me. Help me."
His breathing became labored, and Nott picked up Brown's head and brought him closer to her and asked again who stabbed him. It was then that he named Black, according to the affidavit. He was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:53 p.m.
A resident of the Grand Street home said he was watching television with his family when he heard a loud knock on the door. His wife answered and told him somebody was bleeding and to call 911. He said Brown walked through the kitchen and fell prior to the entering the front room. The man said he asked Brown who had done this to him.
"Black got me," Brown said, according to the man.
The man told police that the "word on the street" was that Brown had stabbed Hudson about three weeks earlier. Police had investigated the Nov. 8, 2017, incident and identified Brown as a suspect, but were unable to make contact with Brown, according to the affidavit. Hudson, who was treated for a stab wound to the left side of his abdomen, had refused to identify his attacker.
Brown's father told police that following the November altercation, his son had been staying with family outside of New London to let things "cool down," but that he had recently returned and started "stepping out."
The father said he knew Hudson and had asked him to let go of the November stabbing incident when he ran into him at a city store, but Hudson had kept saying, "an eye for an eye."
A man, identified only as "Witness #2," told police he was standing in the backyard of his cousin's house at Blackhall and Prest streets about 2 p.m. that December afternoon when Brown approached him and asked if he could talk to him. He said Brown came into the yard and closed the gate, and they were talking for about three minutes when he noticed Hudson standing at the gate.
The witness said Brown looked shocked as Hudson entered the yard. The witness said he got between the two men, who were arguing. The man said Brown broke away and began running down Prest Street with Hudson behind him. The man said he followed Hudson and Brown but lost sight of them when they ran onto Connecticut Avenue. He said when he got to the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Grand Street, he saw Hudson walking up a driveway. He said he thought Brown had gotten away from Hudson, so he walked back toward his cousin's house.
Police said they obtained surveillance video of some of the foot chase that corroborates the witness's story.
Hudson had pending court cases and was being electronically monitored with an ankle bracelet. When he returned to his Steward Street home at 9 p.m. that night, officers went there with an active arrest warrant from a recent drug case.
The police said they found Hudson in a back bedroom and took him into custody without incident. They said they found marijuana in the home, as well as a broken cellphone. Hudson had what appeared to be fresh wounds on his left inner thigh and right front shin and what appeared to be blood on the sleeve of his sweatshirt, according to the affidavit.
Hudson said he had been injured six days earlier at his job at a concrete business in Westbrook and told the police, "I ain't no killer." He said he had been watching his son's basketball game that afternoon at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School. Police reviewed video from the school that showed Hudson arriving at the school about 12:30 and leaving an hour later, prior to the stabbing.
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