Watch: Video of Enrico Smalley murder shows he and Shaheed Brown were followed by two men
The video also shows two men follow Brown and Smalley down the street moments before the shooting. Brown’s defense attorney Edward Heyburn says that one of those men is the actual shooter, and he believes police never made an attempt to find him.
“In the affidavit of probable cause, they don’t even mention this guy,” Heyburn said. “I don’t even think they’re looking for him.”
Smalley, 20, was shot and killed outside of La Guira Bar around 1:20 a.m. on July 12. Shaheed Brown, 30, was arrested about a month after the shooting and charged with murder and related weapons offenses in connection with Smalley’s death.
Ever since he took over the case, Heyburn has been adamant that Brown did not shoot Smalley. Heyburn says Smalley and his client were simply having a conversation to clear the air of any misunderstanding about an attempt on Brown’s life that occurred at the bar one week prior to Smalley’s murder.
Video footage obtained by The Trentonian shows a man who appears to be Heyburn’s client speaking with two men, one of whom Heyburn says is the shooter. A few minutes later, a man wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, long pants and a dark-colored belt walks into La Guira Bar and hands something to a person standing behind a glass partition. The man then speaks to Smalley, who walks into the camera’s view from somewhere inside the bar, and hands him what appears to be a cigarette.
Smalley then turns to walk outside with the cigarette, while the man in the V-neck talks to someone who appears to be a security guard. But Smalley stops at the bar’s entrance and watches the man in the V-neck, who is eventually denied entrance into the bar by the guard.
Smalley and the man in the V-neck then leave the bar. Smalley exits the front door and turns right, the video shows, but someone to the left and outside of the camera’s view grabs his attention. Seconds later, Smalley and Brown walk into the view of a different security camera.
A few seconds after Brown and Smalley walk out of the second camera’s view, a man who prosecutors have identified as Rodney Sutphin steps around the corner from where Smalley and Brown came and grabs the attention of an unidentified man. With a beverage in hand, Sutphin and the man then walk in the same direction that Smalley and Brown were headed.
Moments before the pair leave the camera’s view, the unknown man reaches for something on the left side of his body. Sutphin then stops walking and suddenly turns in the opposite direction. A few seconds later, the unidentified man runs back into the camera’s view, and appears to be concealing something in front of him. He darts to the left and then quickly turns right and runs out of the camera’s view.
Heyburn says the unknown man, who was wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans, was the shooter. Heyburn acknowledges that Smalley was possibly set up to be killed, but he says his client had nothing to do with the conspiracy. A witness interviewed by police knows the man Heyburn says is the shooter, according to witness statements obtained by The Trentonian. The witness signed a still photograph taken from the surveillance footage and identified the man seen with Rodney Sutphin as “King.” But the witness said “everybody calls him Al.” No other witnesses were asked about the man, according to Heyburn.
“They didn’t bring him up to any other witnesses, as far as I know,” Heyburn said. “If somebody can identify him, my client might get out of jail.”
Prosecutors say Brown was “lurking” outside of the bar that morning waiting to assassinate Smalley, and that he grabbed Smalley’s attention, took him to the side of the building and shot him.
But Heyburn believes he can prove that prosecutors are blaming the wrong person if he could get his hands on crime scene photographs of where the shell casings were found. Heyburn believes the bullets were fired from the edge of the sidewalk or from the street, which would place the shooter a few feet away from where Brown and Smalley were standing. He also believes that Smalley’s clothing will prove that the shooter was not standing right next to him. If the shooter was within five feet of Smalley, Heyburn said, there would be gunshot residue on Smalley’s face and clothing.
“This is why the ballistics report and the crime scene photos are so important,” Heyburn said. “They didn’t send me photographs of where the shell casings were, which will tell me a lot. I should be able to show the trajectory of the bullets. They also didn’t give me any reports about whether there was gunpowder residue on Enrico’s clothing.”
Brown was indicted in connection with Smalley’s death in the first week of November. Heyburn says he still has not received all of the discovery documents related to the case. According to Rule 3:13, which governs depositions and discovery in New Jersey courts, the prosecutor’s discovery for each defendant named in the indictment shall be delivered “within seven days of the return or unsealing of the indictment.”
Heyburn filed a Motion to Compel Discovery last week and he alleges that the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is withholding information that could exonerate his client.
Mercer County Assistant Prosecutor Brian McCauley said “discovery is a continuing process” and that he will turn over evidence as he receives it.