“[W]ell, People Really Be Tellin’, People Be Tellin’. That Is Not Right, That Is Not Right.”
From State v. Dutton, decided Wednesday by the New Jersey appellate court, Judges Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff and Carmen Alvarez:
Defendant Shahouna Dutton appeals from an October 15, 2019 judgment of conviction sentencing her to four years for witness tampering. We affirm, substantially for the reasons articulated by Judge John A. Young in his thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion.
We discern the following facts from the record. On March 29, 2017, Terrell Smith was shot and killed in Jersey City. During the ensuing investigation, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) detectives spoke to Aladine Hicks, a witness to the shooting, who initially denied knowing the identity of the shooter. In a subsequent statement, however, Hicks identified Shaquan Hyppolite as the shooter. Hicks explained that he did not identify Hyppolite earlier because he feared for his safety. Approximately two-and-a-half weeks before Smith’s murder, Hicks had been jumped by some of Hyppolite’s associates. After giving his statements to the police, Hicks relocated out of state.
On June 20, 2017, Hyppolite was arr
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