Published January 11. 2011 2:02PM Updated January 11. 2011 2:06PM
Peppering his testimony with curses and the “N” word, 23-year-old Tyshawn Smith is reluctantly telling a New London jury what he remembers from the night that Jared Silva was gunned down during a botched robbery at his package store.
Silva, 47, died of a gunshot wound to the face following a scuffle outside Jared’s Packy at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Squire St. Gary L. Clarke, accused of shooting Silva, is on trial.
Smith, who said he was living with his grandmother on Squire Street on Oct. 12, 2007 but is now staying out of town, testified that he was talking on the phone with his “right hand man,” Amiel Gomez, who was near his house and was trying to convince him to go outside. Smith said he told Gomez it was too cold. He said he heard a gunshot through the phone and from the street and, thinking his best friend may have been shot, ran outside. He said he saw a body “on the floor” by the package store and told Gomez to “get away from that (expletive).” He said Gomez told him Clarke and Cosmo Frieson had been fighting with the person.
After some prodding by State’s Attorney Michael L. Regan, Smith admitted that Frieson brought a gun to his house after the shooting and that he, Frieson and another man later confronted accused murderer Gary Clarke at Clarke’s house across town.
“We was yellin’ at him,” Smith testified. They asked him why he had killed “that man,” he said.
“What did Gary say?” Regan asked.
“I think he said he just panicked,” Smith responded.
Defense attorney Jeremiah Donovan, who will cross examine Smith later today, objected at one point to Smith’s use of foul language. Judge Arthur C. Hadden responded that the court was letting Smith “use his own words.”
Donovan contends that Smith, not Clarke, was involved in the robbery with Frieson and that Smith was the gunman.
Smith, who testified at a probable cause hearing in the case in December 2007, has had three pending court cases since before the shooting. He admitted he would like some consideration from the state in exchange for his testimony but said he has been promised nothing.