A member of a violent street gang confessed to killing a 15-year-old girl one month after the September 2010 shooting, a fellow Gangster Disciples member testified Wednesday in court.
Kevin J. Davis II, accused of killing Dominique Maye in a failed attempt to shoot her brother, admitted to doing something "really stupid" that led to the death of an "innocent little girl," fellow gang member Samuel Lias said in Erie County Court.
"He said he felt bad about it," Lias, a prosecution witness, said under questioning from defense attorney Emily P. Trott. "He wasn't happy."
Lias said the admission came when the two young men met up with another friend on a neighborhood street.
His testimony was the highlight of Wednesday's court proceedings. Davis is on trial charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Dominique, a ninth-grader at Riverside Institute of Technology.
Authorities say Davis intended to shoot Cardricus Maye, Dominique's brother, when he riddled Dominique's home in the city's Kensington-Bailey section with bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle.
Cardricus Maye was targeted because his fellow gang members believed he was an informant, prosecutors have said, but he wasn't home at the time of the Sept. 30, 2010, shooting.
Lias began his testimony Tuesday afternoon and was cross-examined by Trott early Wednesday in Judge Michael F. Pietruszka's courtroom. He said he was hanging out with Davis and other gang members at a Minnesota Avenue home on the evening of the shooting.
At one point, Davis left the home with Janae Parker, also a gang member, Lias said.
Parker previously testified that Davis asked her to drive to the Hewitt Avenue home where Davis thought he would find Cardricus Maye.
She said she didn't know that Davis had a gun. In her testimony last week, Parker said Davis got out of the car and began firing away at the house. She said he then got back in the car and told Parker to drive him back to the home on Minnesota Avenue, where she dropped Davis off.
Lias said he was still there when Davis returned, and he asked him where he had been.
"I'm like, 'What happened?' And he said, 'Watch the news,' " Lias said, adding that Davis was sweating.
Lias said he didn't connect Davis to the shooting of Dominique until after Davis confessed to the crime during their October 2010 encounter with a friend. Lias said that he didn't immediately report Davis to the authorities and that he didn't talk with police until November 2010, when homicide investigators showed up at Lias' meeting with his parole officer.
"I didn't have nothing to do with it, until I was put in it," Lias said, adding that he knows Parker gave his name to police.
Lias was brought into the courtroom in handcuffs, and prosecutors say he is being held on a parole violation.
Also Wednesday, Homicide Detective Mary E. Gugliuzza offered more details on how Buffalo police found Parker, the admitted getaway driver in the shooting.
Gugliuzza said homicide detectives received a tip with the nickname of the driver and the make and color of the driver's car, along with information that the driver was a woman who dressed in boyish clothes and took classes at the Erie Community College City Campus. In October 2010, Gugliuzza and fellow homicide investigators staked out the parking lots around the campus, located the green Oldsmobile sedan that belonged to a friend of Parker's and brought Parker and two other occupants in for questioning.
Gugliuzza testified that Parker was not forthcoming in that initial interview but that she called Gugliuzza's cellphone in tears the next day, saying she knew more about the case. The detective brought Parker in for a second interview. "You could tell she was letting things out," Gugliuzza said under questioning from prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush. "She was upset."
Trott tried to ask Gugliuzza why Parker wasn't charged with lying to police in her initial interview but withdrew the question in response to Hackbush's objection.
Wednesday's court proceedings were marked by regular verbal jousting between Trott and Hackbush over whether a line of questioning pursued by Trott was appropriate.
On occasion, the jury was escorted from the courtroom so that the attorneys could argue a point of law before the judge.
Following Gugliuzza's testimony, Detective Henry Velez, a member of the department's Crime Scene Unit, discussed his recovery of evidence from the Minnesota Avenue home, including the AK-47 police say was used in the shooting.
The rifle was found in a camouflage duffel bag in an attic cubbyhole, he said.
Trott got Velez to say that this bag did not have Davis' name on it, although another bag recovered at the house did.