“Dealing Justice” – Cold case playing cards cracking murder cases in Connecticut prisons

NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) — Over a hundred red balloons were released above New Haven on the anniversary of Jericho Scott’s death.

“Two long years since my son was murdered on this street,” said Leroy Scott at the balloon release.

Jericho may be gone, but his parents spend every day thinking about their son.

They are still waiting for justice.

“You never think you’re going to be the parents of a murdered child and then you definitely don’t think you’re going to be the parents of a murdered child whose case is still not solved,” said Nicole Scott, Jericho’s mother.

Two Years later detectives are still trying to solve the case.

New Haven police requested for Jericho Scott’s murder to be on the state’s fourth edition of the “Cold Case Playing Cards”.

The cards are distributed across all of Connecticut’s prisons in hopes inmates have information that may lead to finding the killers.

Jericho came into the spotlight at 10 years old.

He could pitch so fast, he was banned from little league, making headlines all across the country.

At sixteen he was playing baseball for Wilbur Cross High School, with a promising future ahead.

But, Jericho was murdered outside his home in a drive by shooting.

“Our house will never be the same.” said Leroy Scott.

His family is desperate for answers.

“Somebody somewhere knows something,” said his wife, Nicole.

It’s something the Chief State attorney Kevin Kane hopes the playing cards will bring.

“If they were a witness, they know the victim, they maybe were involved themselves, and they may know somebody who was involved. And they play with the card that generates discussions sometimes, and leads to tips,” said Kane.

Nearly seven-hundred tips have come in since the cards were introduced.

“Sometimes these tips are solid information that we can go with, sometimes not, sometimes they regenerate an investigation that has not had any leads in a while. And they are, they’ve been productive and worthwhile and has brought some solace to quite a few families,” said Kane.

Ayanna Saunders was one of those family members who did not know if she would ever find solace.

“It tore me apart for a very long time,” said Saunders.

Saunders owns Good Hair Boutique in Hartford.

In her store the products are shifted and rearranged, but a picture of her brother stays put on the top shelf.

“Junior was my baby brother. He was somebody that I took care of,” said Saunders.

Junior, or Derrick Comrie was murdered in 2006.

“After being in a depressive state for a very long time I kind of had to come to terms with it and start to pick up the pieces,” said Saunders.

Saunders says that her 10-year old son Douglas resembles the uncle he never met.

She learned to live with the pain.

“That went on for 10 years, no justice at all,” said Saunders.

Derrick’s case went cold.

Hartford detective Andrew Jacobson decided to put Comrie’s case on the second edition of the playing cards.

“Listen, we want to put your loved one on this card, this is what has been working for us,” said Saunders.

“In June 2011 we got the very first tip off the tip line,” said Jacobson.

The tip came from an inmate who heard Comrie’s killer, Hector Torres boasting about the murder.

“To know that this individual is bragging about taking the life of my brother and nothing is being done about,” said Saunders.

Torres was convicted in 2015.

It’s not the only success from the playing cards.

“The playing cards in the DOC are great resource because inmates are not all necessarily from one town. They’re not all from Hartford. They’re from all over the state so they don’t have an allegiance to each other, so to say,” said Jacobson.

Just a small handful of the 15-hundred cold cases statewide,

“It’s really sad when you see how many people are actually in this,” said Jacobson.

He continues to take them one by one.

Right now his focus in on the murder of Jeremy Williams, a man kidnapped in Hartford and found in a burning vehicle.

For families like Jeremys and Jericho’s, knowing the playing cards are in the hands of inmates with time to think is comforting.

Providing the opportunities for other families to heal as well.

“The cards are circulating. So just hopefully someone in there has some information that they want to provide,” said Leroy Scott.

“Solving this crime will never bring jay back, but it’ll give us a little bit of peace of mind,” added Nicole.

Thanks to the cards, Saunders did get that peace of mind.

“But the fact that there was some justice for junior, in way, for him, I’m more than grateful for,” said Saunders.

She wants Jericho’s family to get the same.

“You do have to hang on. It’s easy for someone to say it gets better and better. For me it doesn’t get better…you just learn how to live with it.  But I feel like every life deserves justice. Period,” said Saunders.

 

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