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Arrest made in killing of Kenmore tavern owner

A 19-year-old man who was reported missing 14 months ago in Buffalo has been arrested in the May 19 slaying of the popular owner of Malone’s Bar & Grill on Delaware Avenue, Kenmore police announced Friday.

Antonio Martin-Brown has been charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Vincent J. Cottone, the 62-year-old bar owner.

The two men were acquaintances, but police said they had no additional information about how they knew each other.

“All I know is that they were not strangers,” Police Chief Peter J. Breitnauer said. “It was not a random killing, and we never thought it was a random killing.

“I don’t know if they were friends,” the chief added. “The only thing I can tell you is that the suspect did not work at the bar.”

Martin-Brown, accompanied by relatives, turned himself in to authorities Friday. The suspect had hired an attorney, who talked with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and arranged for Martin-Brown to surrender.

The case now is expected to go to an Erie County grand jury.

Buffalo police had reported Martin-Brown missing in April 2012, after he was last seen when his shift ended at a Wendy’s restaurant on Main Street on April 10.

“He did not return home and has not been seen since,” Buffalo police reported in announcing his disappearance at the time.

Multiple media reports did not include whether he was ever found.

Cottone’s body was found in his Landers Road home late on the morning of May 19, after he did not appear at a staff meeting that morning.

He was an apparent victim of blunt-force trauma, police said. No gun was used, but police have not confirmed any other weapons they believe were used in the attack.

Friday, Breitnauer wouldn’t say anything about the means, the motive or any other details of the killing.

Cottone, known to everyone as Jimmy, had left his tavern a few minutes before midnight the night before he was killed. Police now believe that he was killed sometime between about 2 and 11 a.m. May 19, but they won’t say where they think he may have been between midnight and 2 a.m.

Martin-Brown was arraigned Friday morning in Kenmore Village Court and sent to the Erie County Holding Center without bail, police said.

Breitnauer praised the Kenmore Police Detective Bureau, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory for the investigation that led to Friday’s arrest.