LOCKPORT – The defense began efforts Friday to build an alternative scenario for the robbery that led to the death of Antoine M. Bradberry of Niagara Falls last year, hinting that someone other than their client committed the crime.
Matthew A. Davis, 37, of Pierce Avenue, Niagara Falls, is on trial in Niagara County Court, charged with two counts of second-degree murder and single counts of first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery in connection with the Aug. 22, 2011, death of Bradberry, 41. His body was found in his apartment a day later.
Thursday, Teara D. Fatico, who pleaded guilty in the case in return for testimony against Davis, testified that Davis planned a robbery of Bradberry after the latter sent Fatico a Facebook message asking her to visit his Rainbow Boulevard apartment.
Fatico, 22, said Friday she was with Davis in her bedroom when the message arrived on her smartphone. She had been having a steady sexual relationship with Davis since February 2011, but under cross-examination by defense attorney Phillip Dabney Jr., denied any effort to make him jealous.
Dabney was more interested in the nature of Fatico’s relationship with the father of her now 2-year-old daughter. Fatico said they broke up in October 2010.
Dabney established that Davis and the other man, Rayquan Jackson, had gotten into a fight at Fatico’s house in which Jackson allegedly threatened Davis with a knife.
Although prosecutors say surveillance video from Bradberry’s apartment building, which the jury has yet to see, will establish Davis was the man who entered Bradberry’s apartment, Dabney said, “Rayquan’s of the same build.”
Fatico conceded on the stand that her first statement to police was bogus, including a cover story for why Davis went to Bradberry’s apartment.
She told the jury, “Everything I said in that statement was a lie. I just wanted to tell them a story that went along with the pictures they showed me.”
After court, Dabney said, “We’re trying to build a theory that a self-proclaimed liar would try to protect the man who fathered her child, especially when she’s in prison and he has custody of the child.”
Fatico and co-defendant Chastity L. Wilson, 21, are serving 13-year prison sentences. Fatico said Davis worked up a plan for her to scope out Bradberry’s apartment for things to steal, and she called Wilson to come along.
Co-defense counsel Michael S. Deal said in his opening statement that Bradberry died from hypertension and heart disease, and that injuries in a fight with the robber didn’t cause his demise.
Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann argued that although Bradberry had health problems, he suffered “violent injuries” in his fight with the assailant.
Davis is not charged with intentional killing but rather with causing death while committing a burglary and robbery.
The trial will continue Monday and is expected to last into the week of Dec. 10.