Cortez Oliver trial : Darrell Dukes testimony

Court started today promptly at 1:00. Unfortunately I was 8 minutes late and wasn’t allowed in. Also I had the unfortunate notice that I had to print my name before I could go in. Up until today we were to sign in. I’ve been purposely scribbling a signature, than nobody could possibly read, in fear of the hoodlums I was sharing air with. I told the nice lady cop exactly that and she allowed me to write in on the next page. Well, I did so. But, the name I printed wasn’t mine. After all, I’ve already got my well cleaned once, don’t want to invite them back, for a second look around. I missed Jodi’s cross exam by the defense lawyer. It took about 50 minutes. The only thing I was able to find out is, she wasn’t made out to be that much of a lying scheming bitch. She did lie when first arrested. Her excuse was of course she was high, scared and not thinking very clearly. I can believe that.

The second witness of the day was a surprise only to me, I guess. It was the wonderful boyfriend of Jodi, DD, or legally known as Darrell Dukes. I believe I heard him say Darrell Mote Dukes, but I didn’t hear it well. He sat down and raised his shackled hand to swear in. Everybody else stood to do that. First question: Why are you testifying today? “I did something wrong and I got to get it off my heart”. He’s known Cortez about 12 years. He is the half brother of his cousin Jonny Dukes. DD said he graduated from Ravenna high in 2006 and Maplewood Career Center where he took auto technician classes. He’s had a few jobs at Red Lobster and at temp jobs. Then started selling drugs about 2 years ago. Yes, he’s sold to Fetty, crack and marijuana, X. She even worked for him, selling crack. Yes, she’s been a stripper at one time. No, she isn’t his girlfriend or anything like that. They just hung together. He never knew Mr. Lowther.

Wednesday, July 1, 09, phone calls from Cortez started about noon about this big lick. Cortez offered a thousand dollars for him to be a lookout man. He turned it down because ’he don’t steal from people’ . Cortez upped his offer to two thousand dollars, still DD said no. But, he agreed to do the driving, for one or two thousand dollars, that wasn’t clear.

DD picked up Fetty about 5 or 6:00 to hang together. (Not 11 like Jodi testified. She was lying or mistaken.) Made a few deals, then went to his sister’s place on Henderson Street, to sell more. About 6:30, Cortez called him again told him to meet him at Jonny’s on Blake Street. DD and Fetty got there about 7:30 – 8:00. There was Cortez, he was driving his girlfriend’s car, a black Saturn and there sat Cortez’s other ride, his boss’ vehicle with Well Doctor written on it; DD thinks it was a red Blazer. DD was driving a Toyota Camry. Jonny and Cortez got in the back seat. Cortez had a blue and black back pack. They were both wearing all black. Under Cortez direction (orders), they drove to the party on Infirmary near Wall street to pick up Bobby. Bobby refused to join in because of ‘the white chick’. DD said Cortez had the plan, his boss told him about this big lick. Old man had hand guns and a safe. He lived alone, but with a neighbor near by, hence Cortez needed a look out guy. The safe will have $5,000 in it. Cortez gave directions to Lowther’s home. They got to Herring Creek and Tallmadge Road about 1:00 in the morning, and dropped off Jonny and Cortez. DD and Fetty drove around and smoked a little weed, and Jodi some more crack, till they got a call from Cortez to go back and pick them up again. (DD could not identify Mr. Lowther’s home on the aerial view diagram.) Cortez was disappointed the dude was home and awake and was aborting the operation. Then Jodi piped up and said that she could get them in the house. She just did it. She wasn’t under pressure and Cortez didn’t ask her to. Cortez said he would debow the dude if he had to. DD dropped all three of them off about the same place, Herring Creek and Tallmadge Road and waited, driving slowly up and down the road. First appeared Jodi at the side of the road; she was empty-handed and scared. Then Cortez jumped out of the bushes carrying a box and dropping coins. Jodi said that Cortez fucked up that dude pretty bad. Argument started about cut money. DD was pretty upset. They drove back up Lakewood Road awhile till Jonny called for them to come back and pick them up. They put the box of coins under some pine tree before heading back. (I didn’t understand when they went back to get it. I don’t think anybody did.) Cortez yelled at Jonny that he didn’t do anything to deserve cut. Jonny said, If he didn’t do anything then why did he have blood on his hands, and he showed them his hands. DD was still yelling about his cut. Lots of yelling. They drove back to DD’s parents home in (on) Black Horse, about 10 minute drive. DD got a Royal Crown bag from the house and Cortez put the coins in it. They went to Blake Street and dropped off Jonny. Then they went to Highland to sell more drugs before going to Giant Eagle to cash the coins in. Cortez told or asked Jodi to do it. Cortez said he was going to run because Jodi was taking so long. DD gave him his crack bags to take with him. Cortez ran toward Burger King with DD‘s bag of dope bags. Cops came up to car and arrested ONLY Jodi. They took DD’s car and dropped him off at hospital. DD went home. About 8:00 in the morning he got a call to come in to police station.

Yes, he lied that morning to the police because he wanted to save his own skin, but he told the truth during the 3 hour interview with detectives, July 8th. “Yeah, I’m a snitch. I snitched during that interview with the prosecutors too.”
Cortez wrote 4 letters to DD while in jail. The pod helpers delivered them. DD also wrote some back. State got the letters in a shake down of the cells about two weeks ago.
Jonny and DD shared a cell for 26 days after the arrest, but they didn’t talk about case because DD was angry about money cut.
Conclusion: “If Jodi didn’t jump at the chance to get involved it wouldn’t happened, is that right?” DD “Correct”

Harry Duke is another cousin, he was in jail at the same time. He might be out now, DD is not sure.
Thanks to Zamzar for the file translation

A couple comments:
Darrell’s minimization of his relationship with Jodi had to have hurt her, assuming she heard about it. There’s some disagreement about what exactly he said, but either way, “Friends with benefits” is the gist of it. Or “his crack ho” if you want to get nastier about it.

If I were “The Well Doctor”, I’d be looking for a job with somebody else right about now, preferably in another state. I can’t imagine anybody letting him on their property, especially after this last testimony. Unlike many commenters at the R-C, I doubt if Bruce Miller is indictable, though I’d like to see him take the stand. Rather than him casing Lowther’s place, as some would have it, I think he made some casual observations, and ran his mouth thoughtlessly. If so, he’s learned to shut up about other people’s business by now, and you have to feel sorry for him. And it increasingly looks to me as if Oliver was never in the house previously, and that his information was second-hand from Miller. It would seem that he overestimated both the size and the ease-of-access of the haul, and didn’t have a plan for getting it out with another house nearby. Of course, if criminals were any good at looking ahead, they wouldn’t be criminals. Given the paucity of the haul, one of them would have ratted out another, even if they hadn’t done anything to actually be caught.


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