Practically everybody concerned in 2014 assault on office shooter is useless
Prosecutors asked Prince about multiple crime victims, including some whose deaths remain unsolved.
Hours before a Maryland jury would find him guilty of shooting five co-workers, killing three of them, Radee Prince sat on the witness stand in his own defense conjuring the ghosts of other Delaware victims.
In mumbled words, sometimes short answers, and at times, frustrated outbursts, Prince explained to Maryland jurors how his mental illness, exacerbated by a 2014 attack in downtown Wilmington, lead to the deadly two-state shooting spree three years later.
Radee L. Prince (Photo: Courtesy of Wilmington Police Department)
Every question and answer brought him back to a 2014 incident in which many of the players in Prince’s mind have since been shot, killed, or in one case, vanished completely.
Nathaniel “Mase” Mangrum. Nefertiri Trader. Jamar Kilgoe.
There were more now-ghosts among a group of people once known to be friends, according to Prince and their relatives.
Prince said many members of that circle were paid to attack him, a bounty he said Delaware business owner and shooting victim himself, Rashan “Jason” Baul, put on him.
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All of the shootings, all of the injuries and deaths caused by Prince, can be traced back to that 6-year-old assault outside a now-defunct Wilmington nightclub that defense attorneys said prompted post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression – conditions they said contributed to Prince’s 2017 attack.
“After the attack in 2014 … everything changed,” Prince’s defense attorney Mary Pizzo told jurors, reminding them of Prince’s fiancée’s testimony: “His paranoia was all consuming.
“He was suspicious of everyone,” Pizzo said. “Even questioning [the fiancée] in the beginning as if she knew something about this attack.”
Prince would check locks, doors, windows. He even ruined their home’s window blinds because he would repeatedly bend the slats to look outside.
The fiancée said there were periods of time she heard Prince in another room holding a conversation with no one.
“This man, after 2014, became a different person,” Pizzo said.
Again and again, attorneys and witnesses referenced the 2014 assault and the paranoia it prompted in Prince to not trust even those close to him. Prince insisted the 2014 attack was a result of a $10,000 hit Baul placed on him and his loved ones.
Baul denied issuing a hit during Prince’s 2018 Delaware trial The two had been childhood friends until Baul testified against Prince’s brother in court. After that, the men had ongoing run-ins, including a fight inside Prince’s father’s home that ended with accusations that Baul hit Prince with a Silverado pickup truck.
Baul testified in 2018 that he didn’t hit Prince, didn’t want to hurt him, and was simply trying to knock him over with his truck because he feared Prince was heading for a gun in his vehicle.
Baul could not be reached for comment.
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These run-ins with Baul is why after shooting his co-workers, Prince said he headed to Wilmington to speak to his former childhood friend – after purchasing cigarettes and ammunition at a Walmart. His intention, he said, was to convince Baul not to harm his fiancée.
But there was no discussion.
Prince said he feared for his life when he saw Baul at his Wilmington business.
Screengrab of surveillance footage of Radee Prince at the shooting scene in Delaware. (Photo: Attorney General’s Office)
“He put his hand in his pocket like he was reaching for a weapon,” Prince said. “And I shot him.”
Prince could be heard in video audio telling Baul to “bleed out, bitch.”
He then fled and remained on the lam for hours until federal agents arrested him later that night. Agents testified that Prince told the agents “I got to Jason Baul, before he got to me.”
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The details told in court about that 2014 assault, which left Prince with an unmistakable scar on his forehead, brought back the names of victims of unsolved Delaware crimes still in the forefront of Delaware law enforcement.
Prince had been partying at Wilmington’s “Club Rebel” into the early morning of Feb. 22, 2014, according to court records associated with a lawsuit filed in 2018 by Prince against Wilmington police, the city’s former police chief and mayor and former Gov. Jack Markell. Later dismissed in Delaware’s Superior Court, the lawsuit claimed Wilmington police were negligent in not filing a criminal report about the attack against him and instead arrested his sister for causing a “disturbance” outside the club.
Details on the assault vary between Prince’s testimony, lawsuit and court records. But a police report attached to the lawsuit gives a glimpse into the attack that may have served as a catalyst for Prince’s actions years later.
A witness in the police report, identified as Nefertiri Trader, told Wilmington officers she had been at Club Rebel with Prince drinking in February 2014. The two had been sitting in her vehicle outside the club, when five or six Black men pulled him from the open passenger door and began attacking him, according to the police report.
This image was circulated through local media when Neffie went missing. (Photo: NCCPD)
Trader told police, according to the report, that she couldn’t see much of the attack because it happened “towards the back and on the ground” behind her vehicle. She also didn’t know if any weapons were used or how Prince sustained the large gash on his forehead, court documents say.
No further description was given from Trader about the men who attacked Prince “due to her location during the assault and intoxication,” the police report says.
Trader didn’t testify at Prince’s court hearing.
She went missing four months after this police report was filed, when a neighbor reported seeing a man forcing her into the back seat of her silver 2000 Acura at about 4 a.m. on June 29, 2014.
The mother of three is considered a “long term missing person” by New Castle County Police. Three other women are included in that classification on the county police department’s website.
The FBI installed billboards with Trader’s photo, basic information about Nefertiri Trader’s abduction and the (800) CALL-FBI tip line along I-95 from Maryland to Connecticut. (Photo: FBI AND NEW CASTLE COUNTY POLICE)
Her disappearance, which was considered a kidnapping by the FBI, carries up to a $30,000 reward for those who have information on what happened. New Castle County Police – which has never been able to find her vehicle, her cell phone or her purse – are still investigating the open case.
At the Maryland trial, prosecutors also zeroed in on Prince’s theory that Baul hired people to attack him. When asked who those men were, Prince rattled off names and nicknames to Maryland Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Doory.
He started with Nathaniel “Mase” Mangrum.
“They called him ‘Mase,’” Prince said from the stand. “He was pretty much the leader of their gang.”
Prince then rattled off what appeared to be at least three more names: Darryl Rogers. “M.J.” whose real name was Jimmy Hammond, according to Prince. And Keivese “Dice” Toliver.
Abruptly, Doory asked an additional question: “Was Jamar Kilgoe involved?”
“I have no idea if he was involved,” Prince said. “I know he hanged with them.”
Trader came up next.
“Was Neffie Trader involved?” Doory asked.
Prince was short.
“I have no idea,” he said.
“You weren’t concerned about the people that he hired?” Doory asked.
“Yes, I was,” Prince said. “And to answer your question, the guys that I mentioned, all four of them have been shot or murdered and people who shot, murdered them have been trialed and convicted, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know if they have been convicted, but they have been arrested.”
That’s not entirely accurate though.
Jamar “Kolb” Kilgoe was the first of those mentioned by Prince to be gunned down. He was fatally shot inside the recording studio at Rose Hill Community Center on Feb. 16, 2015.
Jamar Kilgoe, 30, of Wilmington was shot and killed in the Rose Hill Community Center. (Photo: Family photo)
Surveillance photo and video were released after the fatal shooting. One video shows a man, described by police as African-American with a large build, walking away from the center on foot following the mid-afternoon shooting.
Additional surveillance released by police shows what appears to be a dark sedan driving away from the community center.
Kilgoe’s killing remains unsolved by New Castle County police. Just last month, police re-shared information about it in hopes of getting new leads.
“Even though an investigation is cold, it is ongoing,” said Master Cpl. Mike Eckerd with New Castle County Police.
The department did not want to speculate on why Kilgoe was brought up at Prince’s trial.
While testimony briefly touched on Prince being arrested in Cecil County, Maryland, in 2015, the declaration didn’t mention the arrest came 18 days after Kilgoe’s killing. Nor did they mention Prince was found with a Smith & Wesson .380-caliber handgun, even though he was not allowed to be in possession of a weapon because he had more than a dozen felony convictions.
Those charges were abruptly dropped in June of that year with no explanation.
A few months after Kilgoe’s unsolved murder, James Darryl Rogers or “D’Raj,” as Prince and others referred to him, was killed in his West Center City basement in July 2015.
Rogers was a close friend of Kilgoe and his family, and his death marked the continuance of a deadly year for those in his circle.
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Taushia Mitchell, who was 18 at the time of Rogers’ shooting, was later charged and sentenced to 35 years in prison for the slaying.
Less than a year later, in April 2016, a shooting broke out at the Shades of Blue Bar and Lounge on Governor Printz Boulevard.
Wilmington, New Castle County and Delaware State Police control the scene in the aftermath of a shooting at the Shades of Blue nightclub on Gov. Printz Boulevard just outside the Wilmington city limits in Edgemoor, reported about 12:40 a.m. Friday, April 1. (Photo: WILLIAM BRETZGER/THE NEWS JOURNAL)
Nathaniel “Mase” Mangrum was killed, and his friend, Keivese Tolbert – possibly who Prince was referencing from the stand as Keivese Toliver – was shot twice and survived.
Mangrum’s death made waves in West Center City. His Facebook page still holds a profile picture of him alongside Kilgoe, who was killed a year prior. And it was Facebook posts that law enforcement said led them to charge Tyerin Griffin in the shooting.
Griffin, who prosecutors said wished Mangrum happy birthday before fatally shooting him, was sentenced in July 2018 as a habitual offender to 90 years in prison, despite avoiding a first-degree attempted murder charge.
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Finally, during Prince’s trial, the defendant also described a man by the nickname of “M.J.” whose real name, according to Prince, was Jimmy Hammond.
But a search of Delaware gun violence records show Prince was likely referring to Sean Hammond, who went by the nickname “M.J.” and was gunned down in West Center City in October 2018. Old photos show him pictured with Mangrum and others.
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Hammond’s killing also remains unsolved.
Doory, the prosecutor, didn’t divulge why he questioned Prince about particular people, especially those not specifically named by Prince.
But the links point to a phenomenon that those who study crime have long pointed to in Wilmington – that less than 1 percent of the city’s 70,000 residents carry out the crime that directly affects only a slightly larger circle of people.
Those same people are also likely to have experienced trauma themselves – a point Prince’s attorneys brought up with jurors, emphasizing how their client became a distrusting, paranoid person.
“Did you think what you would do if you or your spouse or your child was in danger of being killed?” Pizzo told jurors. “And did you think about what it would be like to believe that the person that you’ve come to believe was the perpetrator of that assault, the one who did it or had somebody do it, had teams infiltrating your whole life?
“Everybody is watching you. People are watching you all the time. Did you ever think about that?”
“After 2014,” Pizzo added, “everything changed.”
Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, email@example.com or Twitter @eparra3. Contact Brittany Horn at (302) 324-2771, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @brittanyhorn.
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