breaks

Norwich detective: Jean Jacques had crack to sell after Casey Chadwick’s murder

norwich-detective:-jean-jacques-had-crack-to-sell-after-casey-chadwick’s-murder

NEW LONDON – Prosecutors on Wednesday began laying out in earnest their reason for Casey Chadwick’s murder seven years ago in Norwich – the theft of drugs they said were taken from her apartment for resale by Jean Jacques, the man accused of stabbing her to death.

Hours after the body of the 25-year-old Chadwick was discovered in a living room closet on June 15, 2015, Jacques was taken into custody by Norwich police on a drug charge precipitated by a quickly-organized controlled buy-bust operation.

During the third day of Jacques’ re-trial in Chadwick’s death – his 2016 conviction on the same murder charge was overturned by the state Supreme Court – Norwich Police Department Detective Jason Calouro walked the jury through the tense hours on that late spring day.

Jean Jacques listens to Wendy Hartling, mother of Casey Chadwick as she talks to the judge during his original sentencing at the New London Superior Court in 2016.

Jean Jacques listens to Wendy Hartling, mother of Casey Chadwick as she talks to the judge during his original sentencing at the New London Superior Court in 2016.

Calouro said Chadwick’s boyfriend, Jean Joseph – who had just found Chadwick’s bloodied body – ran out from the couple’s Spaulding Street apartment and practically fell into his arms from grief. Joseph previously testified he’d hid a cache of cocaine in Chadwick’s kitchen and it was not in the residence.

Joseph, in between sobs, mentioned an individual with the street name of “Zoe,” later identified by police as Jacques, had been the last person to see Chadwick alive.

The nickname was a familiar one, Calouro testified.

Casey Chadwick: Who was Casey Chadwick? Murdered Norwich woman’s boyfriend speaks in Jean Jacques retrial

Just days before, a confidential informant identified “Zoe” as a downtown narcotics dealer, leading police to set up a controlled buy between the two. But Jacques told the informant during a phone call he had no drugs at the time.

As detectives continued to process the crime scene, Calouro once again had his informant call Jacques with a request for crack cocaine.

“(Jacques) agreed to meet, saying now he had drugs,” Calouro testified under direct questioning by Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Christa Baker.

Roughly three hours after Chadwick’s corpse was found, Calouro, backed up by several other detectives and officers, said he watched the informant exchange $40 for a packet of crack provided by Jacques near the defendant’s Crossway Street residence, not far from the Cathedral of St. Patrick.

Norwich spending: Norwich has nearly $150,000 in surplus cash. How will the city spend it?

Police tracked Jacques as he walked past city hall and arrested him near the downtown rotary with what appeared to be crack cocaine on him. He was charged with Chadwick’s murder 10 days later.

During his cross-examination, Jacques’ lawyer, Sebastian DeSantis, questioned the motives of confidential informants like the one used to arrest his client, noting many were drug addicts or dealers themselves.

He also posited there was “more than one person selling crack cocaine in Norwich” in 2015.

“Unfortunately, that’s true,” Calouro said.

The specter of Jacques’s previous trial and subsequent state Supreme Court ruling hovered heavily over the day’s proceedings.

Killingly votes: No word yet on what went wrong with Killingly vote-tallying cards ahead of budget vote

During Jacques’s first trial, authorities presented evidence gathered by detectives after a July 2015 search of his Norwich apartment. That search, prompted by a tip from Jacques’ cellmate, turned up Chadwick’s cell phone and crack cocaine from inside a bathroom wall.

Investigators initially searched Jacques’ apartment with permission from his landlord and later returned with a warrant after the evidence was spotted. But the state Supreme Court ruled that Norwich police violated Jacques’ privacy when they conducted the search and overturned his conviction.

Before the jury was brought in by Judge Shari Murphy, DeSantis pushed to disallow testimony about the drug bust by Calouro, saying it risked “opening the door” to the suppressed apartment evidence.

Police in CT: Connecticut named best state to be a cop. Will that help Norwich hire police officers?

Baker successfully argued that Calouro’s testimony would help explain Jacques’ “motive and intent to kill” Chadwick, as he was “suddenly in possession of crack cocaine” after her murder.

During Calouro’s testimony, Jacques, 47, appeared frequently agitated, shaking his head and conferring with DeSantis.

The trial is expected to last through next week.

John Penney can be reached at jpenney@norwichbulletin.com or at (860) 857-6965

This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Norwich drug detective testifies on third day of Chadwick murder trial

Leave a Reply