Man who stabbed Meriden teens called 'innocent victim'
DeAndre Felton, 15, died after a stabbing near the Meriden Mall.
DeShawn Jones, an eighth-grade student at Washington Middle School, was also stabbed but survived.
It happened on Kensington Avenue, near the property of the Midstate Medical Center, just after 9:30 p.m. on Sept 21.
MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -
A state's attorney has ruled the man responsible for stabbing two teenagers in Meriden in September, killing one of them, will not face charges.
State's Attorney Michael Dearington said the unidentified man was "not an aggressor, but was indeed an innocent victim." The man is not being named for his protection.
On the night of Sept. 21, the Meriden Police Department received a 911 call from a woman who said two young men had been stabbed on Kensington Avenue near Midstate Medical Center.
Police said there was an officer at the hospital investigating an unrelated incident, and that officer quickly responded to the scene. Medical staff quickly began rendering aid to both teenagers, but 15-year-old DeAndre Felton died from his injuries.
The other victim, a 13-year-old boy identified as DeShawn Jones, was brought to Hartford Hospital where he underwent surgery and survived.
According to Dearington's findings, seven witnesses were not only with the teens moments before the incident took place, but they also saw the events leading up to the stabbing and all of the statements were consistent with each other as to what took place.
According to those witnesses, they were all together leaving the Westfield Shopping Center shortly before 9 p.m. to visit the home of one of the people in the group.
According to the witnesses and Dearington's report, both DeAndre and DeShawn discussed smoking marijuana and appeared to most of the group as being "high." It was also stated DeAndre had "red eyes" and was "acting weird."
As they left the mall, the group cut through the Midstate Medical Center property and one or both of the teens were heard saying that "he wanted to hit someone," and said he liked fighting or wanted to fight someone, according to the findings.
"I can't believe it and I won't," said Gary Felton, who is the father of DeAndre, in an interview with Eyewitness News.
Gary Felton said the boys were "the victims" and "had no weapon." And other Meriden residents agree.
"They're kids, teenagers," said Tawana Jewell, who is DeShawn's neighbor. "They couldn't have hurt him that bad to the point where he killed one and almost killed another."
The group then crossed the grass and entered the sidewalk adjacent to Kensington Avenue, where they saw a man walking on the sidewalk in the same direction ahead of them.
One of the teens said he was going to run up on the man and then took off in his direction.
According to Dearington's report, witnesses to the incident were varying, but described one of the teens putting the man in a choke hold, or jumped him and began punching him.
DeAndre and DeShawn then returned to the group. That's when DeAndre said he had been stabbed.
He was pronounced dead a short time later by a doctor at Midstate Medical Center and was found to have one stab wound to the chest.
The man accused of stabbing DeAndre and DeShawn was 20 years old at the time and worked at the mall, according to the report.
The unidentified man was contacted by police and was cooperative, the report said.
The report said he consented to a search of his room where police said they found clothing consistent to what the witnesses said the man was wearing, and said they also found a knife with a "red substance" on it.
The man then admitted to police he had been at the mall at the time in question and said he saw a group of people in the area and in order to avoid them, he cut across the grass onto the sidewalk. He then said he heard several people running behind him.
That's when he said he moved out of the way thinking they were going to pass him, but instead he said one of them grabbed his legs and tried to pick him up and throw him to the ground.
He said he then began to block repeated blows to the face.
He said he was fearful that others from the group would join in on the attack, and that's when he took the jackknife from his pocket, which he said he uses for work, opened it and held it close to his chest.
It wasn't his intention to stab them, he said, and he was unsure how the first teen was stabbed. He said he thought he was stabbed and the knife was held to his chest while he was being punched in the face.
He said the second person may have been stabbed in his side as he was trying to push that person off him.
He said after the attack he ran to the hospital for help, but the door he went to was locked and he couldn't get inside.
He then went back to the mall and took a bus to his home, where he tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with a friend. He said he didn't call police because he was afraid since he realized he stabbed one of his attackers.
On Sept. 25, he said he spoke to the friend that he previously attempted to call. That friend told police the account of what he was told, and that was found to be consistent with what police were told by the man.
Police then re-interviewed him, and the story was still consistent.
The mother of DeShawn said she would not allow police to interview him as to what happened that night, nor would she allow them to take pictures of his wounds on the advice of her lawyer.
As a result of the investigation, Dearington said he found the man was an innocent victim to the attack and said he should not be charged with any crimes.
"The facts lend themselves to considering the applicability of the concept of self-defense," Dearington said in his report. "That is [the victim] was justified in using deadly force, which resulted in the death of DeAndre Felton and injury of DaShawn Jones."
The report goes on to say that the man "was not an aggressor, but was indeed an innocent victim."
"He was a stranger to the two assailants [Felton and Jones] and apparently had never had any contact or association with either and posed no threat to them that evening," Dearington stated. "Accordingly, it is concluded that [the victim] should not be charged with a commission of a crime with respect to this tragic incident.
DeShawn, the teen that survived being stabbed, will not face charges in regards to this case, according to officials.
A friend of DeShawn's family said they will be making a public comment over the coming days.
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