Phillip Jones Identifies Derry Daniels As The "Dark Skinned Male Black"
On January 28, 1998, one day after the homicide, Phillip Jones was present at the 28th Precinct for the purpose of viewing photo books in an effort to identify the perpetrators. Upon viewing the tenth book shown to him, Mr. Jones identified a photo of an individual named Derry Daniels. Upon seeing the photograph of Daniels, Mr. Jones stated, "I'm telling you that's him. Check him for a bullet hole." A criminal records check revealed that Daniels had 14 prior arrests and 12 convictions dating back to 1984 which included arrests for drugs, assault and robbery. He also had an open warrant for a drug charge on March 19, 1997. Most significantly, he had been arrested on April 6, 1990 within the confines of the 28th Precinct for a robbery with a gun at a policy location.
The next day, January 29, 1998, at 12:20 AM, detectives went to the home of Juanita Daniels, the mother of Derry Daniels, and placed Derry Daniles under arrest for murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. At 4:38 PM on that same day, Derry Daniels was interviewed at the 28th Precinct. Daniels denied involvement in the robbery and homicide and stated that he was in his mother's apartment at the time of the shooting. After being confronted with his brother's statement to the police that Derry was not home during the time in question, Daniels stated that he did not want to answer any more questions. At no time during the interrogation did Derry Daniels mention the name Jon-Adrian Velazquez.
Daniels was subsequently identified in a lineup and indicted for Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, two counts of Robbery in the First Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree. On September 30, 1999, over eighteen months after he was arrested, Daniels pled guilty to a single count of Robbery in the Second Degree in satifaction of the indictment and was sentenced to twelve years incarceration as a predicate felon.
During Derry Daniels' allocution, he was asked the following questions by the Court:
Q: Can you tell us what was your role and what was Mr. Velazquez's role?
A: My role, I was duct taping.
Q: What was Mr. Velazquez doing?
A: His role was the gunmen.
The Assistant District Attorney then asked:
Q: And you two agreed to this plan together; is that correct?
This was the first and only time Daniels identified Jon-Adrian Velazquez as his accomplice. Curiously, the People did not call Derry Daniels as a witness at Mr. Velazquez's trial.