State will go for indictment against man shot by Dover police

DOVER — There’s enough probable cause for criminal charges against a 21-year-old Dover man shot by police on Aug. 28, a Kent County Court of Common Pleas commissioner ruled Friday, and the state now will seek an indictment.

Terrance Fletcher

Terrance Fletcher

Terrance Fletcher was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited after police alleged he was holding a five-shot .38 caliber revolver during a pursuit that ended with him being shot in Dover late last month.

Chief Kent County prosecutor Steve Welch referenced an alleged confession, the proximity of a loaded revolver discovered near where Mr. Fletcher was shot, and a probation officer who said he saw Mr. Fletcher fleeing while appearing to conceal a gun in his pants as some of the reasons to keep the charges in court.

Kent County Public Defender’s Office Chief Head William Deely asked for the charges to be dismissed after establishing that Mr. Fletcher had denied having a gun while being treated at the hospital, two officers at the scene did not see him holding a weapon or draw their own guns as the chase ensued, and that Mr. Fletcher had a right to run if not under arrest, among other points.

At the end of a hearing lasting over an hour, Commissioner Abby Adams found enough probable cause to warrant the two charges, but noted that Friday’s action during a preliminary hearing was far from proof beyond a reasonable doubt and issues would be discussed in future court actions.

Mr. Fletcher, using a walker and dressed in Department of Correction inmate clothes, did not speak at the hearing. He’s recovering from a shot to the upper right thigh that was deemed non-life threatening, according to police.

In a five-minute sidebar to begin the hearing, Commissioner Adams ruled that the officer who shot Mr. Fletcher would not be named in the proceedings. The officer was immediately put on standard paid administrative leave pending investigation into the shooting.

Police recount events

Dover Police Department Detective Jeffrey Gott, supervisor of the Criminal Investigations Unit, was called to the stand and recounted what he said investigation into the incident had revealed. The sequence unfolded after a confidential informant authorities described as previously reliable tipped the Street Crimes Unit that a gun-wielding man appeared to be in the 100 block area of South New Street and South Governors Avenue, Detective Gott said.

In addition to investigating the crime scene himself, Detective Gott said he had interviewed two of the three officers initially responding to the area, and had not talked to the officer who apparently discharged his weapon twice and wounded Mr. Fletcher.

According to police, Mr. Fletcher had been read his Miranda Rights before a Sept. 1 interview at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna when he said that he had found a five-shot revolver in Dover’s Silver Lake Park.

Police claimed Mr. Fletcher said he ran when an officer in an unmarked vehicle with no activated emergency lights pulled up while he standing in front of 111 S. New St., not knowing if the arrival was law enforcement or someone else.

The chase covered approximately 60 to 70 yards with an officer approximately 20 feet behind Mr. Fletcher, Detective Gott said investigation found. In an interview, Mr. Fletcher allegedly said he heard a loud “boom” and realized he had been shot before falling to the ground, Detective Gott said.

A gun was found approximately 14 to 20 feet from where Mr. Fletcher was wounded, according to Detective Gott’s testimony, No fingerprints of value were found on the gun, police said.

Mr. Fletcher was wanted in Berkeley County, West Virginia, for two pending felony drug cases prior to his arrest in Dover, Detective Gott testified.

The Kent County grand jury meets the first Monday of each month.

When announcing the charges, Dover Police Department listed Mr. Fletcher’s address as being in the 100 block of North Governors Boulevard in Dover.

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