|Contact Jeffrey Collins|
Clinton Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 2001
Dannemora, New York 12929
|DOB: October 2, 1975
(juvenile when convicted)
|Jeffrey Collins' case data|
|State and County||New York, Kings County (Brooklyn)|
|Crime||2nd Degree Murder and 1st Degree Reckless Endangerment|
|Date of Crime||December 19, 1991|
|Date of Arrest||April 1992|
|Date of Conviction||April 27, 1993|
|Sentence||25 Years to Life|
|Age at the Date of Crime||16|
|Contributing Factors||Perjury, Official Misconduct|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||No|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||N/A|
On December 19, 1991 a man named Darryl Smith was found laying on the floor inside a store located at 627 Blake Avenue, Brooklyn, New York by responding officer. The officer observed that the man was shot numerous times.
The officer found spent bullet shell casings at the door of the store. No other forensic evidence was found that could tie the shooting to me. All of the people that were interviewed at the scene by Detectives, either said they arrived after the shooting and did not witness the shooting, or were there and did not see the shooter’s face.
A female named Janice Otero, who was walking down Blake Avenue, stated she noticed a strange looking man in front of the store. Ms. Otero further stated that she went and stood in front of the store and noticed that the man had his hand inside his jacket. Ms. Otero described the man she saw as being 5’6” with big eyes.
Fifteen (15) minutes after the shooting Detective M. Redmond received a phone call from Tawana Hicks, who stated that the person that shot the victim is a male named Nubbs. Tawana further stated that her sister Nicole saw what happened. Tawana left a number and an address where she could be reached. Neither of the two sisters was ever contacted by anyone.
At 9:00 p.m. a call was received at the 75th precinct from an anonymous caller, who stated that the person responsible for the shooting is a male named Nubbs.
Nothing at this point points to me throughout the Detective’s entire investigation at the scene of the shooting and up until four (4) months after the shooting.
Two months into the Detectives’ investigation, Detective T. Buda spoke to the victim’s brother (Larry Smith) on February 18, 1992. The Detective asked Smith, who the guy Nubbs is of which Smith stated that Nubbs is the guy that runs the drug dealing in the area and that Nubbs wanted his brother dead, but that Nubbs did not pull the trigger. The Detective asked Smith how does he know this. Smith stated that it is talk on the street. The Detective then asked Smith, if he knew the name of the shooter. Smith stated that he did not know.
The detectives then ran a nick-name check on the name Nubbs of which he discovered Nubbs real name is Wallace Owens, and that he was arrested in January 1991 in the 71st precinct for possession of a weapon. It was also discovered that Nubbs was known to frequent the area of Blake and Sheffield. At this time the investigation came to a halt.
Then on April 9th, 1992 Detective Buda spoke with Larry Smith again, of which Larry Smith informed the Detective that he knows two (2) people that stated they saw what happened and that one (1) of the two (2) people called him and he will talk to them. Forty (40) minutes later, Smith arrived at the 75th precinct with the two people who were identified as Rothman Tejada and Juan Caberera.
In order to understand the significance of Larry Smith’s statements and involvement in bringing the two people (Rothman Tejada and Juan Caberera) to the precinct four months after the shooting, we must revert back to the statement Larry Smith made to Detective Buda two months after the shooting, then project forward to the witness’s (Rothman Tejada) testimony at trial pertaining to his alleged conversation he says he had with the victim’s brother (Larry Smith) two days after the shooting.
Tejada, while on cross-examination testified that he told Larry Smith two days after the shooting that he alleged to have witnessed me commit the crime. If this conversation did take place, why would Larry Smith tell Detective Buda on February 18, 1992 that he did not know the name of the shooter, if the witness (Rothman Tejada) whom Smith brought to the precinct, testified that he told Smith who he alleged to have witnessed commit the crime?
Rothman Tejada (who was at the scene when the Detective was questioning the people in the store) was asked by a detective, did he see what happened. Tejada stated, “He came to buy a soda and saw a guy on the floor.” Both “alleged” witnesses (Tejada and Caberera) both lived in the same apartment at the time of the shooting.
Tejada lied to the jury on numerous occasions while under oath. For instance: Tejada first stated on direct examination that Detective Buda picked him up on April 9th, 1992 and drove him to the precinct and further stated that he did not know how Juan Caberera got to the precinct. Then, while on cross-examination, Tejada testified that his direct testimony was a lie. Tejada further testified that when Larry drove him to the precinct, Caberera was not with them and that he does not know how Caberera got to the precinct. But, as evident from the police report dated April 9th, 1992 which shows that Larry Smith brought both of the alleged witnesses to the precinct. Juan Caberera is a known drug addict with twelve convictions, four of which are felony convictions.
Both alleged witnesses’ stories conflicted as to the direction the shooter fled the scene.
Tejada stated in a prior statement to the Assistant District Attorney on April 9th, 1992 that the shooter backed out the store and ran in the direction of Sheffield and Dumont Avenue. Meanwhile at trial, Caberera testified that the person he alleged to have witnessed, backed out of the store and ran down Blake Avenue towards Pennsylvania Avenue, contrary to Tejada’s prior statement of which he was impeached with on cross-examination. The jury noticed that. During the juror’s deliberation, the jury sent a note to the court and requested to hear Tejada’s testimony, his first and second time on the witness stand. The court granted the request. Moments later, the jury sent out another note for the same witness testimony. This time specifically requesting what they wish to hear. The jury requested to hear Tejada’s testimony where he or someone discussed the defendant run down or toward Dumont Avenue. The court denied this request stating to the jury that the word Dumont is mentioned in a prior statement that the defense counsel used to impeach the witness with. Therefore, it is not evidence in chief. But the court in its charge to the jury told the jury that they may adopt what was previously said as long as the witness adopts it.
It is clear from the record that the witness adopted what was read to him by the defense counsel concerning Dumont Avenue. According to the statute C.P.L. 310.30 (Jury Request) and the case law that follows this statute, as well as Richardson on Evidence (prior statements adopted by the witness): It is said that the statement should have been read back to the jury as being supplementary to the witness testimony. Therefore, the court erred when it denied the jury request for the read back of relevant testimony.
Subject: Phone Call Received from Tawana Hicks
On 12/19/91 at approx. 1545 hrs. the undersigned received a phone call from Tawana Hicks who stated that a person named Nubbs shot the victim. She also stated that her sister Nicole saw what happened, but she is afraid to talk. She would not tell the undersigned her address but gave the phone number of her mother XXX-XXXX [note: the phone number is not revealed on this webpage!] and that she can be reached there. …
signed by Det. M. Redmond
Subject: Interview with E. Vasquez [note full name is not revealed on this webpage!]
On 12-19-91 at 1800 hours I spoke to E. Vasquez who claimed to be Darrell’s girlfriend. She stated that she is the mother of his child. She stated that she had heard it was a guy named Nub or Stub that shot her boyfriend. She also stated that her friend J. Otero [note: full name is not revealed on this webpage!] saw what happened. Ms Vasquez lives at XXX XXXXXXX XXX XXX XX DOB 4-X-63. She said her friend stated that the shooter was a tall, light skin male black, approx 5’9, wearing a beige coat with a hat.
signed by Det. Thomas Buda
Subject: Anonymous Caller
On 12-19-91 at approx. 2100 hours an anonymous female caller called the 75 Squad office and stated that the male responsible for the shooting of Darrell Smith was a male black named “Nubs”. She further stated that she will call again with more information.
signed by Det. Thomas Buda
Subject: BCI Check of Wallace Owens (Nubs)
On 12-20-91 at approx. 1200 hours I responded to Identification section after checking the name Nubs through the nickname file. His real name is Wallace Owens DOB 7-30-66 age 22, 777 Hendrix St. NYSID #6120909L. M/B 176 Lbs. This male is known to frequent the area of Sheffield and Blake Ave. He was arrested in the 71 Pct on 1-3-91 for 265002 Criminal Possession of a weapon.
signed by Det. Thomas Buda.
Jeffrey Collins’ Statement
I was sixteen (16) years old when I was arrested for this crime. As noted, I was arrested four (4) months after the shooting. December 19, 1991 was not a day of significance to me, where I would remember what I was doing or where I was at on that day. Maybe, if I had been arrested two or three days after the shooting or even a week later, I might have recalled what I was doing or where I was at. But, because December 19th, 1992 is without significance in my mind, and the fact that four months had elapsed between that date and my arrest, should not be held against me for not keeping account of everyday of my life.
How you can help
Share this article and visit the IIPPI Forum for updates!
The two sisters Tawana Hicks and Nicole Hicks might be very helpful in finding the true perpetrator. (See above and the open letter on the forum!) If you are one of them, or if you know them, contact me, please!
I need a private investigator and a post-conviction defense attorney.
Janice Ortero’s Taped Interview (pdf, 6 pages)
December 19, 1991
Rothman Tejada’s Taped Interview (pdf, 2 pages)
April 9, 1992
Proceedings page 87-89 (pdf, 3 pages)
The Court received a letter about witnesses who had not been investigated
Proceedings page 97-103, 127-129, 163-173 (pdf, 21 pages)
Who is that “other detective” and why was his memo book not used for the investigation?
Proceedings, page 316-319 (pdf, 4 pages)
Note from the jury: “We the jury would like to hear the portion of Tejada’s testimony when he or someone discussed the defendant running down Dumont or toward Dumont.”
440.10 Motion by the Defendant (pdf, 25 pages)
October 6, 2006
Writ of Error Coram Nobis (pdf, 39 pages)
July 25, 2007
New York Department of Corrections, Inmate Info
Inmate Name: Wallace Owens
DIN (Department Identification Number): 93R7725
Race / Ethnicity: Black
Custody Status: Released
Date Received (Original): 10/06/1993
County of Commitment: Kings
Latest Release Date / Type (Released Inmates Only): 09/13/94 Parole Div of Parole
Crimes of Conviction: CRIM POSS WEAP 3RD SUB 4-8 VFO, Class D
Aggregate Minimum Sentence: 1 Year
Aggregate Maximum Sentence: 3 Years