Groton Town police charge 3 in drug-related home invasion
Groton — Town police have charged three people in a drug-related home invasion they learned about when responding to reports of shots fired Nov. 15 near 189 Midway Oval.
Javaughn Williams, 21, of 48 Haughton Park, Apt. 1, Montville, was charged Jan. 8 with home invasion, second-degree robbery and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Sytira Charles, 21, of the same Montville address, was charged Jan. 8 with second-degree robbery and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Taki Abson, 19, of 537 Bank St., Apt. 5, New London, was charged Jan. 10 with home invasion, second-degree robbery and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.
Police heard different versions of the incident but said everyone agreed it began with an arranged marijuana deal.
Kalyn Bomster, who lives at 189 Midway Oval, said a woman she didn’t know called and asked for one eighth of an ounce of marijuana. She told Matthew Beck, who she said delivers marijuana for her and sometimes stays in her home, to meet the woman at a park near Gary Court.
She said Beck was readying to leave when someone knocked on the door. Beck opened the door and was ambushed by two men, at least one of whom struck Beck in the head with a pistol, Bomster said.
Bomster and her roommate, Sapphire Kelly, told police the men then forced their way into the home. Kelly said she fled to the bathroom and closed the door but one of the men forced it open. The other man was pointing the pistol at Beck, Bomster said.
All three Midway Oval residents said the men didn’t stay long but took about $3,000 in cash, some marijuana and some marijuana edibles as they left.
Beck said he chased the men and tried to wrest the gun from the man who was holding it. Beck said the man fired several shots into the air, so he ran to a friend’s house down the street.
Police later recovered seven spent shell casings in front of the home.
Just after the altercation, but before he knew about it, town Officer Devin Bedard had pulled over a white 2015 Nissan Versa for allegedly driving through a red light. Bedard said he had smelled marijuana in the car and was trying to collect names from the five people inside when the shots fired call came over the radio.
Bedard let the driver off with a warning so he could go to Midway Oval. When Bomster and Kelly gave descriptions of the men that seemed to match two of the Nissan’s passengers, police distributed stills from Bedard's body camera footage to other law enforcement.
Police said a parole officer identified one of the men as Williams and said Charles was Williams’ girlfriend. The officer told police Williams had been released from prison on special parole six days before the shooting.
Records show Williams was convicted of second-degree robbery in June 2016.
Bomster helped police identify the other suspect. She said he had just been released from prison for a home invasion he committed in New London in 2014. Police used that information to identify him as Abson, who was 15 at the time but tried as an adult in the case.
Abson agreed to be interviewed by police in November but said little more than “it’s not my concern,” police said.
In a separate interview, Williams told police he and the other Nissan occupants were going to a party in Groton City but stopped in Groton Town to get marijuana. Williams said only Abson went to 189 Midway Oval and that the gunshots happened after Abson was back in the Nissan, which is why Charles, who was driving, took off.
Police said Charles denied knowing anything about the shooting.
Police executed search and seizure warrants at 189 Midway Oval and on Charles’ car. Police said items found in Charles’ car, such as a yellow Ziploc bag filled with about 18.9 grams of marijuana, matched items inside the home.
For perspective, one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana is about 3.5 grams.
Police also searched phones they had seized from Bomster and Kelly. Text messages between Charles' and Bomster's numbers showed Gary Court had been agreed upon. Snapchat screen grabs showed Bomster making an edible marijuana product similar to what police said was found inside Charles’ trunk.
Neither Kelly nor Beck could pick Abson or Williams from eight-person photo lineups, police said, and Bomster stopped cooperating with the investigation.
Williams, held on a $100,000 bond, is next due in New London Superior Court Jan. 31. Charles, also held on $100,000, is scheduled to appear Jan. 30. Abson, held on $200,000, is next due in court Feb. 4.
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