Convicted Cop Killer Looks for Re-Trial - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Convicted Cop Killer Looks for Re-Trial

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - September 1, 2009 is a date that will live forever in the minds of many in Georgetown, and throughout Sussex County. It was on that day that Georgetown Patrolman Chad Spicer lost his life, the first Delaware officer to die in the line of duty in decades. 

The deadly incident began when Derrick Powell shot at a drug dealer he was trying to rob at a fast food restaurant. That's when police officer Shawn Brittingham, who was patrolling with Spicer, responded to the call of shots fired.  During pursuit of the suspects, Powell fired his gun at the cruiser. Spicer was struck in the face by a single bullet as he sat in the passenger seat. 

Less than two years later in February of 2011, Powell was convicted in Spicer's murder. Four years later though, the legal battles continue, as Powell continues to fight for a new trial. This has many of Spicer's family members and friends waiting and hoping for justice.

Powell was in court, along with his attorneys Natalie Woloshin and Patrick Collins on Monday, for his final evidentiary hearing. Woloshin said that the defense is making the argument that there were various "deficiencies" in Powell's representation during the first trial in the appellate, trial, and punishment phases. For that reason, she said Powell deserves a re-trial. 

During the first trial, Powell was represented by attorneys Stephanie Tsantes and Dean Johnson.

Mother of the victim, Ruth Ann Spicer said that a second trial would be painful.

"It was horrible," she said of the first trial. "Just terribly, deathly horrible."

She continued to say that a second trial would not only be hurtful for the parents, but for the child of Spicer as well, who would "want to be in that courtroom."

"I just hope and pray there's not another trial," she said.

Lieutenant Lawrence Grose said he can still remember the shooting vividly.

"We were just numb," he said. "We knew we still had a job to do, but when it's one of your own officers it's just a numb feeling. Almost helpless."

WBOC asked Grose if he had a message for Powell.

"We want justice," he said. "Hopefully we'll get it. That's all I can say. He took our friend."

After the defense submits their opening brief, the state will have until June 26 to respond. The defense will then have to submit a "reply brief" by July 15. Finally, there are oral arguments expected for August 6.

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