Hung Jury in 19-Year-Old Murder Case


William Smith, then 22, was shot and killed on Jan. 1, 1991.  (Photo courtesy of Denise Thomas)

William Smith, then 22, was shot and killed on Jan. 1, 1991. (Photo courtesy of Denise Thomas)

By Michael Del Castillo

On Monday, Nov. 22, a jury at the Kings County Supreme Court failed to reach a verdict in the 19-year-old case of a security guard who was shot and killed outside of a New Year’s Eve Party in Brooklyn. The jury was split, eight guilty, four not-guilty.

Early in the morning of Jan. 1, 1990, William Smith, 22, was shot in the face by alleged shooter, Derrick Lloyd, while talking with a group of friends at the Glenwood Housing Projects in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. The group had gathered around a bench in front of a New Year’s Eve Party hosted by Lisa Lloyd, the alleged shooter’s sister.

Witness Rukaya Long, 38, remembers the shooter saying, “I want to know where’s the drunk guy that was beefing in the party? I want answers.”

She said Smith responded, “Everybody wants answers, but you can’t. We don’t know them.” The shooter then drew a handgun and Smith said, “If you’re going to bust me, bust me now.”

Immediately following the shooting, the suspect, Derrick Lloyd, 55, calmly left the scene and disappeared for 15 years.

Smith was a running back at Sheep’s Head Bay High. His sister, Denise Thomas, 48, said her brother was the biggest 12-year-old she had ever seen. He won dozens of trophies that she still keeps in her home. “William was the center of our family. The only boy, the only uncle,” she said.

Smith’s nephew, Maurice Smith, 33, said, “Me and him did everything together. He taught me football at the Big Park in the Glenwood Projects.” His uncle’s murder has had a big impact on his life.

“I went through therapy because of this. I cried a lot. The trial has brought back a lot of deep down feelings,” he said. “He was only 22 years old, didn’t have any kids, didn’t even get to start his life.”

During the time since Lloyd vanished, he moved to Montgomery, Ala., found a job, fathered a son, and appeared on America’s Most Wanted. And then, in 2007, he was arrested with a fake social security card at Montgomery’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

District Attorney Jonathan Kaye prosecuted his case for four days, during which he called three witnesses who identified Lloyd as the shooter. A fourth witness, Teshia Drakes, 50, failed to identify Lloyd as the man she saw at the party.

Kaye later said, “I believe she recognized him but she’s scared.”

Lloyd’s defense lasted only one day. His attorney, Calvin Simon called Karen Wynter, 55, and Isaac Daniel, 50, to testify.

Lloyd sat calmly as he listened to Wynter, his alibi witness, recount the night of the murder.

Wynter, the mother of Lloyd’s son, had known the suspect as Rashad Hamid, the name taken when he converted to Islam while incarcerated for another murder. And the name he used during his 15 years on the run. She said that on New Year’s Eve of 1990, the two had watched a Twilight Zone marathon at her apartment. Lloyd, or Rashad, as she called him, allegedly left her home around noon the following day, well after the murder.

The judge halted Wynter’s testimony to wake up a sleeping juror.

District Attorney Jonathan Kaye cross-examined the witness, during which time Wynter confirmed that she had never offered her alibi to law enforcement. Judge Albert Tomei explained to the jury that although she was not obliged by law to bring “exculpating” information to law enforcement, the fact that Wynter had failed to do so spoke to her credibility.

During the cross-examination, Kaye violated Tomei’s prohibition and mentioned that Lloyd was currently incarcerated at Riker’s Island. Tomei informed the jury that Lloyd’s current place of residence was not to be considered regarding his guilt or innocence.

The defense’s other witness, Daniel, said he has known Lloyd for approximately 35 years. He testified that he heard the shot from Lisa Lloyd’s apartment but did not see the defendant at the event.

Noticeably absent from the defense was Lisa Lloyd, the defendant’s sister, and the host of the party outside of which Smith was killed. Judge Tomei addressed the jury regarding the absence. “The fact that Lisa Lloyd was not called gives you the right to infer that if she had been called her testimony would not have supported the
defense,” he said.

Also missing was the 911 tape from the night of the killing, which was destroyed 90 days after the call, and a video of a man matching the defendant’s description which Michael Massay, 56, allegedly took at the party.

Thomas, the victim’s sister said, “God is the judge, the ultimate judge. They had three eyewitnesses who identified the suspect without hesitation. Two that actually saw the shooting.”

A retrial is expected to start in December.

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