Thursday, March 23, 2023
Thursday, March 23, 2023

    Chester man charged with first-degree murder in January 2018 shooting death

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    Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland and Commissioner Otis Blair of the Chester Police Department announced the arrest of Darnell Jamil Thomas for the shooting death of Chadease Coleman, 20, on January 23, 2018, in the area of the 500 block of Mosley Court in Chester.

    Darnell Jamil Thomas, 30, of the unit block of West 21st Street in Chester, is charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder, robbery, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of instruments of crime, and conspiracy to commit robbery and first-degree murder.

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    As the result of information provided by witnesses, combined with video surveillance, cell phone records and social media accounts, authorities filed charges against Darnell Jamil Thomas who was identified as one of the individuals who shot and killed Chadease Coleman on January 23, 2018.

    As readers know, Chester Police Department responded to the 500 block of Mosley Court in Chester after reports of a gunshot victim inside of a vehicle.

    When cops arrived, they found Chadease Coleman seated inside his vehicle suffering from several gunshot wounds. Coleman was pronounced dead on the scene.

    Police confirmed the victim, Chadease Coleman, was the driver of the vehicle and two small children were also in the backseat during the shooting. At the scene, it was reported that the vehicle involved in the shooting was a black sedan with two red Christmas bows on the front of the vehicle.

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    Police say the homicide stemmed from a secret relationship that was uncovered on social media.

    Police did not name the witnesses for their safety, but they provided the following information.

    Several hostile and threatening messages were sent and posted through social media between one of the witnesses and Coleman. On January 6, 2018, Coleman confronted the witness which led to the witness sustaining injuries and necessitating medical attention at a hospital.

    Immediately following the witnesses discharge from the hospital, a male identified as Matthew Leopold picked the witness up in Matthew Leopold’s black Tahoe.

    In the car, Leopold introduced the witness to a male identified as “Dar,” later identified as defendant Darnell Thomas, who was seated in the front passenger seat and wearing a ski mask along with a hoodie over his head. The witness said that they then picked up another male from the area of the McCaffery Village Housing projects.

    The witness inquired what they were doing, and Leopold and Thomas said that when “it goes down,” the witness was going to have to leave the area and stay out of sight for a while.

    The witness said they then drove around Chester looking for Coleman’s white KIA. The witness believed that “Dar” and Leopold were going to attempt to kill Coleman if they found him.

    According to police, witness told the defendants, “Listen, there’s no reason to take anybody’s life over this. This is stupid; there’s no point in doing this- it’s not that serious.”

    On January 23, 2018, a friend and Coleman were driving in a Kia SUV on Tilghman Street when a Matthew Leopold’s black Lincoln blocked them in. They continued driving to the 500 block of Mosley Court, and as they turned onto the block, the Lincoln came towards them travelling the wrong way down the one-way street, bringing the vehicle to a stop.

    Coleman then got out of the KIA and was standing behind the open door. Leopold exited the driver’s side door of the Lincoln and asked why Coleman assaulted the witness.

    Darnell Thomas then got out of the passenger side of the Lincoln, approached Coleman and attempted to rob him, ultimately leading to an altercation. As this was going on, a third male approached Coleman as well. At that time, Coleman was shot by two individuals, one of whom was identified as the defendant, Darnell Jamil Thomas.

    “As the result of unjustified retribution, the defendant Darnell Jamil Thomas, planned and conspired to rob and kill the victim in this case,” District Attorney Katayoun M. Copeland told Saturday. “This was a calculated act of senseless violence against the victim, Chadease Coleman, whose life was needlessly taken at the young age of just 20-years-old. As the result of cooperation and assistance from the community, we were able to make two arrests in this case. I would like to commend the investigative work of Detective DeFrank of the Chester Police Department and CID Detectives Timothy Deery and Vincent Ficchi for their extensive work on this complicated case.”

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