Five Men Charged with 2009 Kidnapping and Murder
United States Attorney Deirdre M. Daly, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane, Special Agent in Charge Patricia M. Ferrick of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Hartford Police Chief James C. Rovella, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment charging five men with the kidnapping and murder of Charles Teasley, 35, of West Hartford, in January 2009.
This matter stems from a long-term investigation being conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, Hartford Police Department and the Cold Case Homicide Unit of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.
Charged in the indictment, which was returned under seal on March 30, 2017, are:
HAROLD COOK, also known as “Oink,” 40, of Bloomfield
GERUND MICKENS, also known as “Breeze,” 41, of Bloomfield
TERRELL HUNTER, also known as “Rell” and “Killer,” 35, of Hartford
DOUGLAS LEE, also known as “Fly,” 42, of Hartford
JESUS ASHANTI, also known as “Black,” 40, formerly of Hartford
The indictment charges the defendants with one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of using a firearm during a kidnapping and causing a death, and one count of using a firearm during a robbery and causing a death. If convicted of the charges, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of life, or death if the government seeks the death penalty in this matter.
Cook, Mickens and Hunter were arrested on April 4, and Lee was arrested today. They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson in Hartford and were ordered detained. Ashanti is presently incarcerated for unrelated offenses.
The indictment alleges that, on January 12, 2009, Hartford Police responded to Colebrook Street in Hartford in response to a citizen’s report of a dead body in the back seat of a vehicle parked on the side of the road. Upon arrival, patrol units located a grey 1999 Acura TL parked on the street. Charles Teasley was found deceased in the back seat of the vehicle. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head and face, and his hands were zip-tied behind his back.
The indictment alleges that Cook, Mickens, Hunter and Ashanti were involved in committing armed robberies of persons they believed to be drug dealers operating in the greater Hartford area. On January 9, 2009, Cook, Mickens, Hunter and Ashanti planned to commit an armed robbery of an individual who they knew was scheduled to make a sale of cocaine. However, the individual decided not to go forward with drug deal and the robbery attempt was aborted. Lee then advised Cook that Lee had made arrangements to conduct a cocaine transaction with Charles Teasley, also known as “Man.” Lee provided the particulars of the planned transaction to Cook so that Teasley could be kidnapped and robbed of drugs and money.
The indictment further alleges that Lee met with Teasley at the approximate time and location Lee had provided to Cook. Cook, Mickens, Hunter and Ashanti then went to the location and kidnapped Teasley by using zip-ties to bind his hands and forcing him back into his own vehicle. In the vehicle, they threatened Teasley at gun point, assaulted him and forced him to make a telephone call directing his girlfriend to bring to Cook, Mickens, Hunter and Ashanti a safe he had hidden at the residence he shared with his girlfriend. They then drove Teasley to a residential section of Hartford and murdered him.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting dangerous offenders and reducing violent crime in our cities, and our work will not stop until the shootings and murders stop” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “I thank our partners in the FBI Task Force, Hartford Police Department and Chief State’s Attorney’s Office for their excellent investigative work in bringing to justice those we allege to be responsible for this brutal murder, and their ongoing efforts to solve other cold case murders.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the agencies involved in this matter,” said Chief State’s Attorney Kane. “It is yet another example of how through collaboration government at all levels can accomplish much, which is particularly important in the current budget climate.”
“The seven years of intense investigative work by law enforcement partners resulting in the five alleged perpetrators of this heinous crime being brought to justice highlights our dedication to ending senseless gun violence in Connecticut,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane noted that the unsolved homicide of Charles “Man” Teasley was included in cold case playing cards sold to inmates in Connecticut’s state correctional facilities. Each card in the deck features a photograph and brief details about a homicide or missing person case and lists telephone, mail and e-mail contacts that inmates can use to supply information.
The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John H. Durham, Peter D. Markle and Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis, and Assistant State’s Attorney Andrew Reed Durham, who has been cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.