Attorney Scully Defends Home Invasion Suspect

By Kathryn Gallerani • Posted May 31, 2012

The Oklahoma man accused of knocking on the door of an off-duty Duxbury police officer’s home holding a semi-automatic handgun will remain in jail without bail after being declared a danger to the community in court Wednesday.

Plymouth District Court Judge Kathryn Hand ordered that Brett T. Roderick, 19, continue to be held without bail based on credible evidence against him in the case of the March 21 attempted armed home invasion. She said she believed that no condition of his release would ensure the safety of the public.

Defense attorney Liam Scully said he does not agree with the decision but understands it’s common for judges in cases of such a serious nature to err on the side of caution.

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, considering the seriousness of the charges and their position that shots were fired at police,” he said.

In the end, he expects his client will prevail with what he said are so many inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. The case was continued to July 10 for a probable cause hearing.

Among the inconsistencies, Scully said, are descriptions of the gun, first silver then black, that Officer Daniel Brown told police the suspect was holding when he knocked on the door of his home, and there are varying descriptions of the sweatshirt or jacket the suspect was wearing.

“I think that the strength of the commonwealth’s case is highly suspect,” he said. “Is this the case of the changing-color sweatshirt or the case of the changing-color gun?”

Assistant District Attorney Douglas Humphries said Roderick’s behavior, first appearing at the off-duty officer’s home with a loaded weapon, then evading police and shooting at two officers, are evidence he is a danger to the community.

He said whether the gun was described as silver or found to be black with a shiny patina, the victim has identified it as the gun the suspect was holding when he appeared at his door. The officer closed the door immediately and called 911.

“He was positive this was the same gun he saw in the hand of the man who came to his home,” he said.

Humphries argued that Roderick is both a danger to the public and to himself based on a comment police say he made to his mother that police were going to have to shoot him if he was caught.

Scully countered that the picture of a young man who fired a gun at police and that of a young man who surrendered peacefully to police are at odds.

“I think it’s notable when the defendant is later apprehended in the woods he is not firing shots at officers,” he said.

Roderick was arraigned in Plymouth District Court March 22 and charged with two counts of armed assault to murder, three counts of armed assault with a gun, attempted breaking and entering, possession of a firearm without a license and being a fugitive from justice.

He is wanted on a warrant out of Oklahoma stemming from an armed robbery. He now has probation violation charges there, after serving 20 months in a youthful offender program for a 15-year armed robbery conviction from 2010.

He returned to Massachusetts with his mother and stepfather for the funeral of a young cousin. Last week a Wagoner County, Okla., court clerk confirmed that Roderick violated his probation terms in numerous ways.

He was arrested March 5, along with three other young men, for possession of pot and drug paraphernalia – a double violation, since he was ordered to avoid other offenders. In early May he failed to pay restitution in one of three robbery cases, and he didn’t keep a job as required.

His Massachusetts visit wasn’t approved in advance, and that violation triggered the fugitive from justice charge here.

During testimony Wednesday, Scully showed Duxbury Police Detective Dennis McKenney a press release that stated that a gun police say was found near where Roderick was taken into custody was founded fully loaded. A gun holster had been recovered first.

The State Police Crime Lab is still testing the gun for gunshot residue and other evidence, so police have not yet received the test results, McKenney testified.

Both McKenney and Officer Mary-Ellen Vidito, when she testified last Friday, said that the two officers who chased Roderick into the woods had to retreat after the suspects fired two shots at them. The shots were reportedly fired at close range, approximately 20 feet away, on a dark, wet night.

Scully said Roderick maintains that he was in the woods smoking marijuana with a friend, became lost and disoriented in the rain, and then found himself inexplicably being chased by police.

In court Wednesday, McKenney said Roderick had changed his initial story, first saying he was alone and then saying that he was in the woods with a friend smoking marijuana. McKenney said Roderick told him that he has seen that same friend with a gun previously.

Vidito testified Friday that she spotted a young man in a dark, hooded sweatshirt walking along the Temple Street overpass over Route 3 the night of the attempted home invasion.

She testified that he stopped twice as he walked to bend over and reach to the ground, at one point ignoring her order to step and then running into the woods when she ordered him to get down on the ground. Vidito said she did not hear gunshots but was informed as such by the officers conducting the search.

Friday, Hand granted Scully’s request for $2,000 to hire an investigator and granted another motion preserving all audiotapes related to the case.

Scully argued in court Wednesday that Roderick, who grew up in Carver until the age of 12 and has extensive family including aunts, uncles and cousins on the South Shore, would not be a flight risk. His request for cash bail was denied.

Scroll to Top