Share this article

print logo

Falls killing erupted from pot buyer’s complaints

LOCKPORT – Darrell J. Belton Jr. is a Niagara Falls marijuana dealer who killed a man over his complaint about tardy drug delivery, the victim’s live-in girlfriend testified Tuesday.

Tiffany Garcia told a State Supreme Court jury that Belton, whom she knew only by the street name “Flock” or “Flocka,” gunned down William A. Reilly, 30, in their home on the night of Sept. 23.

About an hour before the killing, Garcia said Reilly had used her cellphone to call Belton and ask for a delivery of $10 worth of marijuana. When the delivery wasn’t made promptly, Reilly made more calls and sent more texts, including a threat to call another drug dealer.

“Billy told him he might call somebody else,” Garcia testified.

Belton, 18, of Whitney Avenue, is on trial on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He rejected a plea offer to first-degree manslaughter before jury selection began Monday.

Garcia testified that Belton finally showed up about 10:30 p.m., driving a gold Nissan Altima that she had seen him driving before. However, she said Belton didn’t exit the car for as much as a minute, and Reilly left him outside, knocking on the door for five to seven minutes before letting Belton into the house at 830 Pierce Ave., Niagara Falls.

“They were arguing back and forth about how long it took Flock to show up,” Garcia told the jury of six men and six women.

After a few minutes, a second man entered the house, whom Garcia said she had never seen before. Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said during her opening statement that the mystery man told Belton, “Don’t do anything stupid.”

Garcia testified that Belton “reached into his sweatshirt pocket and pulled out a gun and fired it twice in the direction of Billy and me. It was a red, small mini-handgun.”

Reilly was shot twice and died quickly. Dr. Tara Mahar, Erie County chief medical examiner, said she conducted an autopsy the next day and removed two bullets from the victim’s body.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann played a recording of Garcia’s 911 call, during which she screamed, “He came to my house and shot him.”

“Who came to the house and shot him?” the dispatcher asked.

“His name was Flock,” Garcia answered. “He’s a black male. He was wearing a blue hoodie, tan pants.”

Caldwell told the jury that other evidence in the trial will include surveillance videos, one from a warehouse next door to the house that shows a gold Nissan pulling in and leaving a few minutes later, and a video from a convenience store earlier that night showing Belton wearing the same clothes Garcia mentioned.

Also, Belton’s fingerprints and DNA were found in the car, which he abandoned after a police chase, and the car also contained 10 bullets of the same type as those recovered from Reilly’s body, Caldwell said.

In his opening statement, co-defense counsel Michael G. Putzak told the jury that no gun was found, and there were no fingerprints or DNA from Belton in the house, nor was there any blood on Belton’s clothes.

“Above all, scrutinize what you don’t see,” Putzak said.

Testimony will continue Wednesday.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com