KAMDEN – The state Court of Appeals upheld the sentence of a city resident in connection with the robbery here.
A panel of two judges rejected the arguments of 29-year-old Rajhad Kilpatrick, who was accused of the deadly shooting death of 23-year-old Jamir Sims of Camden in October 2016.
Kilpatik pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received 15 years in prison in June 2019, but reserved the right to appeal two pre-trial decisions.
But the appellate ruling acknowledged that the lower-level judge had duly rejected a motion to dismiss Kilpatrick’s statement to police.
He also supported the judge’s decision to allow the extrajudicial identification of Kilpatrick by a man who had not witnessed the robbery.
Initially, Kilpatrick was accused of aggravated murder and armed robbery in connection with the fatal shooting of Sims, a resident of the city, on the 700th quarter of Chestnut Street.
The shooting came about a minute after Kilpatik and two other suspects allegedly robbed another man in a nearby location. The robbery victim told police he saw Kilpatik shoot Sims, according to a ruling Wednesday.
Rejecting Kilpatrick’s argument that his statements to the police should have been silenced, the appeal said it “never referred unequivocally to the right to remain silent.”
It says that in the video of the interrogation Kilpatik “wanted to talk to the detectives and continued the conversation with them in the affirmative.”
Kilpatrick was arrested in January 2017 after an acquaintance told police he recognized the suspect through video from a surveillance camera that was published in the media.
An acquaintance told police he was familiar with how Kilpatrick behaved, saying the suspect was lame because he had recently shot himself.
The ruling said it was consistent with Kilpatrick’s statement to police, noting that “the accused confirmed that he had received a foot injury.”
The ruling found that the acquaintance offered “confirmatory identification” and thus did not represent “a very significant likelihood of irreparable misidentification”.
Jim Walsh covers state security, economic development and other articles for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.
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