LOCKPORT - "Would an autopsy show the time of death?"
That statement linked to murder defendant Matthew A. Davis II was debated during an evidence hearing Wednesday in Niagara County Court.
Davis, 37, of Niagara Falls, is accused in the Aug. 22, 2011, death of Antoine M. Bradberry, 41, of Rainbow Boulevard, who was smothered with a shirt as he was held down on a sofa during a robbery attempt,
Shortly after the slaying, a warrant was issued for Davis' arrest on Sept. 13, 2011, but he was not arrested until last May when he was captured as a fugitive in West Virginia.
Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Gerald Granto said he and his partner, Deputy Joseph Shanley, went to West Virginia to pick up Davis. Granto said in court that during a long wait at the airport, Davis initiated a conversation about the case.
"Can I ask you a question?" he said. "Would an autopsy show the time of death?"
Granto said his only response was, "I believe so."
Questioned by defense attorney Phillip Dabney Jr., Granto denied talking about the case until Davis posed the question.
Granto, who also was asked if he knew Bradberry, said that as a longtime resident of Niagara Falls, he was somewhat familiar with Bradberry before the case.
Both sides will now present their arguments to Judge Matthew J. Murphy III. A decision is expected on Oct. 15.
Murphy granted the defense's request for an adjournment of the trial, previously scheduled for Sept. 24. The new trial date is Nov. 26.
Two co-defendants in the case, Teara D. Fatico, 22 and Chastity L. Wilson, 21, both of Niagara Falls, accepted plea deals to attempted first-degree burglary and agreed to testify against Davis. Both were sentenced Feb. 2 to 13 years in prison.
Police said the defendants' plan was for the two women to distract Bradberry as Davis stole marijuana from Bradberry's refrigerator.
Defense attorneys have said they intend to offer an alibi about where Davis was the night Bradberry was killed.