AP NEWS

Former friends brawl during fatal shooting sentencing

May 3, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — Fists were flying along with the verbal barbs as two families who had once been friends clashed in the courtroom Friday morning.

“Keep it in the streets, keep it in the streets,” Terrell “Big Baby” Evans cried out as his family members began loudly trading insults with the family of his former best friend — who Evans was being sentenced for accidentally fatally shooting in the back of the head.

But Evans’ words only aggravated the situation as judicial marshals rushed to contain the combatants. One man was arrested as the fighting spilled into the court hallway.

“This is a court of law not a street corner, behave,” Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin shouted over the din.

The marshals managed to force the battling family members out of the Fairfield County Courthouse where police were waiting.

Devlin meanwhile, sentenced the 23-year-old Evans, who previously pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, carrying a pistol without a permit, criminal possession of a firearm and violation of probation, to 25 years, suspended after Evans serves 15 years in prison and followed by five years of probation.

Evans is accused of accidentally shooting his friend, 22-year-old Kyree Kennedy, of Success Avenue, in the head while the two were in the middle of a drive-by shooting on May 2, 2017.

Kennedy was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of his car shortly before midnight on Read Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said witnesses told them Evans had gone for a ride with Kennedy to Read Street to shoot up a car that belonged to a person Kennedy had an ongoing feud with.

As they approached the target car, police said, Evans began firing from the front passenger seat across Kennedy and out the driver’s side window. But at one point, Kennedy turned his head and one of Evans’ shots struck him instead, police said.

“My son’s death has been so hard on my family, I cry every day,” Kennedy’s mother told the judge.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Michael DeJoseph told Devlin that the plea bargain reflected the evidence the state had available to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evans’ lawyer, Senior Assistant Public Defender Brad Buchta, said his client accepts responsibility for his actions.

“I apologize to his mom, but nobody else,” Evans added.