The teenager charged with fatally shooting a Severn man at random in a park in 2004 told Anne Arundel County investigators that the victim "could have been anybody," a detective told a jury yesterday.
The courtroom was hushed as Detective Michael Regan discussed a confession by Terry Cooks Jr., 19, who is being tried on murder charges in the death of David Brown, 52. Brown was shot as he walked in Provinces Park in the western area of the county. The case could go to the jury as early as today.
Cooks, who also lived in Severn, told Regan and other detectives that he went to the park on the afternoon of April 7, 2004, with the intention of shooting someone, Regan said. The detective said Cooks told him he urinated in the woods and, as he returned to the path, shot Brown as the victim passed him. Cooks thought he shot Brown four more times after Brown "fell and screamed" from the initial shot, the detective said he was told. Regan said Cooks said he then left and that he meant to kill the victim.
Asked how he felt when he learned Brown was alive, Cooks told detectives "like he was a witness," Regan said.
The statement was made in late August 2004. Brown died a month later.
Assistant Public Defender William Davis, who is representing Cooks, has maintained that Cooks gave a false confession, lured by Regan's promise to take him home from investigators' offices in Crownsville after giving detectives a statement.
Originally, Cooks was brought in for questioning on Aug. 22, 2004, as a witness in a shooting two days earlier and promised that he would be taken home after speaking with detectives.
Police said they had no leads in Brown's shooting until they questioned Anthony Switzer, 17, about the fatal shooting of Doray Delonte Jones, 18, of Glen Burnie on Aug. 20, 2004. Jones was shot at random with a stolen shotgun as he drove to his father's home.
Switzer told interrogators that Cooks shot Brown. Those interrogators passed that information to Regan, who was that same night typing up a separate statement from Cooks. At that point, Regan and another detective pressed Cooks about Brown's shooting.