For an hour and 40 minutes Tuesday, Kyle A. Cummings told a Niagara County Court jury how 16-year-old Jennifer M. Bolender was killed Dec. 14 on a pedestrian overpass in Niagara Falls.
Cummings, a prosecution witness in the murder trial of his friend Daniel W. Pardee, 20, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as an accomplice.
Cummings testified that, after his release last Nov. 1 from Wyndham Lawn, a Lockport residence for troubled adolescents where he had been confined for almost two years, he was in touch every day with Pardee, whom he had known since he was 12.
Cummings said he had met Jennifer through Pardee before going to Wyndham Lawn. He said he and his brother joined Pardee to meet Jennifer and a friend Dec. 12 at Prime Outlets Mall in the Town of Niagara.
Pardee and Jennifer argued over money outside the mall, Cummings said, adding that he saw the girl hit Pardee in the face. Pardee then began choking the girl with his left hand, Cummings said, saying Pardee's left arm is very strong although his right hand is deformed and of little use.
On the night of Dec. 13-14, Cummings said he and Pardee went to Beverly Lanes in Niagara Falls for midnight bowling. He said his mother gave him a knife and Pardee asked to have it "in case there was an altercation at the bowling alley."
Cummings said after another argument at the bowling alley, Jennifer and the boys left. She and Pardee argued again outside Denny's restaurant on Niagara Falls Boulevard, and Jennifer crossed the street. The boys saw her talking to another man in the parking lot of a motel.
"He started to get upset," Cummings said.
The boys eventually yelled across the street for Jennifer to rejoin them, which she did after being asked about four times, Cummings said.
Pardee said they would walk her home, Cummings said, but when they stopped to smoke on the pedestrian overpass above the LaSalle Expressway, he tried three times to kiss her, and she kept pushing him away.
"He just swung around and hit her, hit her with his good arm," Cummings said. He said the girl fell, and he saw Pardee kick her in the head repeatedly and jump up and down on her face.
Cummings said Pardee ordered him to help him drag Jennifer back up to the top of the overpass. He wept briefly as he recalled grabbing the girl's jacket. He said Pardee kicked and stomped her head again before stabbing her two or three times in the neck with the knife he had given him.
They walked home, and Cummings said he helped Pardee wash the blood off his hands, his coat and his boots. Cummings said Pardee told his brother Christopher what had happened. The three agreed to cut their thumbs in a blood oath of secrecy and return to the scene to make sure the girl was dead and remove evidence.
Cummings said his brother stabbed Jennifer in the throat with a knife, while Pardee stabbed her in the chest and thighs with a pair of scissors.
They put the weapons in the bag and took it to the Cummings home, burying it in the back yard.
He said they then went inside and smoked some cigarettes Pardee had taken from Jennifer's purse. They listened to the police scanner to wait for the body to be found.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza canceled the Tuesday afternoon session of the trial to give the defense time to go through the 16-year-old Cummings' records in preparing cross-examination.
Since he was 15 at the time of the slaying, the maximum sentence Cummings could receive was nine years to life in prison. But the district attorney's office offered him six years to life in exchange for his testimony against Pardee.