Monday, in a lively court exchange that went something like this, defense attorney Jennifer Stanton said Decker was involved in some “illegal activity.”
Prosecutor Sara Chandler bristled. Those are “unfounded allegations.” She said. There is “no evidence” to support that.
The judge asked, basically, “How do you know?”
Our detectives “investigated his history,” Chandler said. The “claims are unfounded.”
“If you investigated,” the judge reasoned, “they can, too.”
The history includes a 2009 shootout in Norfolk where Decker killed one armed robber and caught another. Beach police later discounted the Norfolk shootout as a murder motive. But in court today, Stanton said she has not. She said Decker’s murder might be a revenge killing.
Judge Stephen Mahan granted defense lawyers full access to any internal-affairs investigations naming Decker, but he said he would put those documents under seal.
This death penalty trial was scheduled for February, but today in court, attorneys said it will probably be next October before it begins.
That will be exactly four years after Officer Decker was found shot to death.