Jailhouse recordings keep alleged shooter behind bars
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | November 20,2012
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Two jailhouse recordings that appeared to catch a reputed gang member saying that Vermont towns were easy pickings and that a recent shooting incident in broad daylight in downtown Springfield was meant to send a message that things could “get ugly” at any time may have dashed his hopes for pre-trial release.
Terrick Craft, 28, who has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to gun down Nick Brown on July 9, appeared puzzled and exasperated as he sat behind the defense table in the Windsor County Courthouse Monday afternoon and listened to his own words being played back by Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney David Cahill.
Craft had filed a motion asking Judge Robert Gerety to allow him to return home under curfew conditions to live with his wife and her children while he awaits trial. Craft has been held without bail since his arrest the day after the shooting incident, which Brown said he narrowly escaped by running into a nearby apartment amid a hail of bullets that were later found lodged in the door frame
Craft had his jaw broken in a scuffle with Brown that took place out on the street moments before numerous residents heard multiple gunshots ring out. He has since maintained that he was actually the victim and not the shooter, although at least one eyewitness has claimed otherwise.
Since he is charged with a crime that carries a potential life sentence, Craft is not entitled to bail under Vermont law and a judge would have to “exercise discretion” in order to let him out while he prepares his case.
On the tapes made of the phone calls from the jail following his arrest, a voice identified by Springfield Police Corporal David
Gilderdale as belonging to Craft can be heard excitedly telling a friend that a female correction’s officer had made a comment to him asking why he didn’t move back to New Jersey where Craft has a history of felony convictions and was previously identified as a member of the “Bloods” gang.
“I said ‘Why would I leave Vermont when we are having so much fun bringing my (racial epithet) up here and chasing you all out of town?’” The voice identified as Craft says on the tape, continuing amidst giggling laughter, “The (racial epithet) are coming up, man, to this little town. We taking over ... we kicking people out ... they don’t even know.”
Craft then goes on to make what Cahill suggested was a reference to the shooting that he was arrested for. “This is just a sample, letting them know ‘It can happen!’ ... any time, any day, any place it can go down therefore you ... need to watch it (and) hush like puppies.”
Cahill also pointed to another segment of the tape that appeared to be about the “message” behind the alleged attempt on Brown’s life. “My whole point (was) that it can get real ugly any time. It can be church. It can be your mother’s birthday ...” the tape continued.
Craft looked pensive while the tapes were playing but his voice and his menacing words had a visible effect on his family members, including several young teenagers who had dressed up and were seated along with his wife, sister and parents in the back row to show their support for Craft. His wife began to shake noticeably as his words played out and his mother held her head and looked at the ceilings as the recordings continued and Craft could be heard saying, “You’ve got to put your foot down or they are just going to play ... when I’m coming home I’m not going to play ... that was the whole point to me sitting here (in jail).
What am I sitting here for? It’s a waste of time if don’t nobody get the point!”
Judge Gerety said he will issue a written decision as to whether he will modify Craft’s hold-without-bail status “as soon as possible.”