Derrick Powell has been found guilty of murder for the September 2009 shooting death of Georgetown police officer Chad Spicer.
The panel’s decision came on the first full day of deliberations at the Sussex County Superior Courthouse in Georgetown, just a short distance from where Spicer was gunned down.
The slain officer’s parents and other family members gasped as the head jurur started to read the verdict. Later, Norman and Ruth Ann Spicer exchanged hugs and tears with supporters.
As they spoke outside of the courthouse, Mrs. Spicer said their granddaughter still prays for her father.
Powell also was found guilty of charges including resisting arrest, attempted robbery, reckless endangering and various firearms offenses.
Jurors will assemble again at the courthouse Thursday morning for the start of the penalty phase in the capital case. Powell could receive the death penalty.
The trial, which began January 20th, focused on DNA and ballistics evidence, but also featured testimony from law enforcement officers and other first-responders who described responding first to a drug-related robbery outside the McDonald’s on Route 13, then to the officer’s shooting in the Kimmeytown section of Georgetown. Also on the stand were several inmates dressed in prison garb as they described the drug deal and robbery.
Two people in the car with Powell when it was pulled over prior to Spicer being shot also took the stand. The driver, Christopher Reeves, left the scene. Luis Flores testified that he went to assist Spicer out of his patrol car, but the officer collapsed. Flores was the only one of the three not to face criminal charges in connection with the incident.
Speaking after the verdict, Georgetown Police Chief William Topping described Spicer as “a good guy, an honest guy” who actually had tried for years to become a Georgetown police officer. Topping said Spicer “loved to get drug dealers off the street, and he loved the job.”