Jailed Man Faces New Charge
Obstructing Justice Added to Long List
Terrick Craft stands up to leave after a hearing in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction yesterday. At the end of the hearing he said, “if I had been white it would have been different." (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Purchase photo reprints »
White River Junction — A 29-year-old Springfield, Vt., man pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice as authorities allege he tried to get witnesses to file conflicting statements regarding a pending attempted murder charge against him.
According to documents filed in Windsor Superior Court yesterday, Terrick Craft, who also goes by George Carter, called witnesses from jail and asked them to make written statements in his pending case. He particularly wanted statements from Lamar Carter, who he referred to as “Bug,” who is a witness in the case.
Craft allegedly fired shots at Nicholas Brown on July 9, 2012 in Springfield’s business district, near Park and Main streets. Brown was not injured, but Craft suffered a broken jaw.
An affidavit filed by the Springfield Police Department gives the following account:
Craft made a phone call on July 27, 2012 from jail in which he said that Bug, or Carter, needed to go to the police station and get 10 to 12 blank statements and have them notarized at the post office.
“That way if Bug did make a statement to them we have a statement that contradicts his other statement which makes both statements (expletive).”
The next day, Craft allegedly made another phone call asking the same request of Bug, or Carter.
“We need to get him to write another statement ... pretty much a derail statement ... we need to get it notarized, and once we get that statement, it don’t make no difference what he told the ATF people it’s two different statements they contradict each other, that means neither one of his statements are good ... he’s the one who can hurt us,” Craft allegedly said in a phone conversation.
During another phone conversation, Craft transmitted a coded message that he wanted to be passed along to Dennis Allen. According to the affidavit, part of the message in the “13 up” code read “v jnf ynlvat urer guvaxvat naq jr fubhyq trg QW bhg.” Craft wanted Allen to write that the shooters in the case were two Puerto Ricans or Latinos.
The Springfield Police Department acquired recordings of Craft’s telephone conversations from jail. Deputy Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill said in an interview that when an inmate makes a phone call, a message warns that the conversation is being monitored.
Craft is already facing an attempted second-degree murder charge, among other charges, and he is currently being held without bail at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton, Vt.
If Craft is convicted of obstructing justice, he could face a five-year sentence. But because he has three felony convictions, he could face life in prison under Vermont’s habitual criminal statute.
Judge Robert Gerety in Windsor Superior Court yesterday ordered that Craft should not have contact with Dennis Allen or Lamar Carter.
Defense attorney Kerry DeWolfe entered Craft’s not guilty plea while Craft sat next to her. DeWolfe said Carter is Craft’s cousin and Craft would like to stay in contact with him.
But Cahill said that Carter is a witness in the case and it seems that Craft was trying to tamper with a witness.
DeWolfe argued that Craft was just trying to get Carter to write a statement about what happened.
“He just wanted Mr. Carter to tell the truth about what happened that night,” DeWolfe said. “Mr. Craft should be able to have contact with Mr. Carter.”
According to an affidavit filed by Springfield Police Det. Patrick Call, on July 9, 2012, police responded to Springfield’s business district for a complaint of fireworks. Police soon learned that gun shots had been fired.
Four bullet holes were found in a nearby building where bullet slugs had entered. Nicholas Brown, who was 31 at the time, was walking on Park Street when he saw Craft. As Craft approached Brown, he allegedly pulled his right hand from behind his back and Brown said he saw a pistol. When Brown saw the gun, he said he punched Craft in the face and pulled him to the ground. Brown allowed Craft to stand up, and when he did, Craft began shooting at him, police said. As the shots were fired, Brown said he ducked inside a nearby building.
Craft, who is black, let his defense attorney speak for him in Windsor Superior Court yesterday, but as he got up to leave, he said, “If I had been white, it would have been different.”
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.