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Britt v. State

Supreme Court of Delaware

April 28, 2015

KEVIN BRITT, Defendant Below-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF DELAWARE, Plaintiff Below-Appellee

Submitted: April 22, 2015.

Case Closed May 14, 2015.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County. No. 1306000818.

Before HOLLAND, VALIHURA, and VAUGHN, Justices.

ORDER

James T. Vaughn Jr., Justice.

On this 28th day of April 2015, it appears to the Court that:

(1) Defendant-below/Appellant Kevin Britt appeals from a Superior Court conviction of three counts of First Degree Reckless Endangering, three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (" PFDCF" ), and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon (" CCDW" ). Britt raises one claim on appeal. Britt argues that the State failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of one of the three counts of Reckless Endangering of which he was convicted. We find no merit to this claim and affirm.

(2) On June 1, 2013, Rene Jamison was living in a residence on Concord Avenue in New Castle County with her father, Joseph Custis, and her eight children: Jhireique Sutherland (" Sutherland" ) - age 20; Jhaquez Toston (" Toston" ) - age 18; Andre - age 15; Abu - age 13; Angelo, Jr. - age 6; Angelina Warner - age 5; Angelow - age 5; and Angelino - age 3. That day, Britt knocked on the front door of the home and asked five-year-old Angelina, " Where's your brother?" .[1] When Angelina asked Britt which of her brothers he was looking for, he replied, " Any of them." [2] Angelina told Britt that her brother Toston was in the shower. Britt replied, " [T]ell him to come here; I'm not playing," and said that he " got a strap," meaning that he had a gun.[3] Angelina closed the door and Britt left.

(3) Sutherland was in his bedroom to the side of the front door and could see and hear the exchange between Angelina and Britt through a window. Sutherland testified that he saw what he believed to be a gun in Britt's pocket, and that Britt was wearing a blue or grey t-shirt over a long-sleeved thermal shirt. Approximately twenty minutes later, Britt returned and knocked loudly on the door. When Jamison opened the door slightly, Britt covered his face, pulled a gun out of his pants, and reached the gun into the house. Jamison slammed the door shut, but caught Britt's wrist between the door and the doorframe.

(4) As Jamison struggled to keep the door closed she yelled, " My babies are in here," but Britt continued pointing his gun at Jamison and yelled at her to get off the door.[4] During the struggle, a single shot was discharged from the gun. The bullet struck and damaged some molding near the front door. At the time of the gunshot, Angelino was asleep on Jamison's bed, Custis was in the basement, Toston and Angelo, Jr. were upstairs in Toston's room, Angelow and Sutherland were either inside or in front of Sutherland's room on the ground floor, and Angelina was crying at the top of the stairway leading from the front doorway to the second floor.

(5) After several minutes of trying to keep the door closed, Jamison finally let go and ran out the back door with Angelow and Angelina. Britt then fled the scene. Jamison called 9-1-1 and Wilmington police responded. Detective Malcolm Stoddard took Sutherland in the back of his unmarked police car to look for a possible suspect in the area of 23rd and West Street, where Sutherland said he had seen the shooter in the past. Sutherland spotted Britt among a group of people in the area and identified him as the shooter. Britt was then taken into custody.

(6) At the time of his arrest, Britt was wearing a grey t-shirt over a white, long-sleeve thermal shirt, and police found a blue t-shirt on the ground nearby. Police also recovered a revolver from the backyard of a nearby home. The revolver contained six live rounds and one spent casing. DNA swabs from the revolver matched Britt's DNA profile and one other unknown ...


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