Bordley denies shooting man at Port Mahon pier

Daiquan T. Bordley

DOVER — A 24-year-old man charged with murder in a shooting at the Port Mahon pier two years ago testified Friday he wasn’t involved in Dontray Hendricks’ death.

As his trial concluded after four days in Kent County Superior Court, Daiquan T. Bordley disputed two alleged co-conspirators’ accusations that he approached the man on March 29, 2016, and shot him in what was initially planned as a robbery seeking drugs and money.

While Mr. Bordley confirmed he dealt marijuana with former Delaware State University classmate Chelsea Braunskill, he claimed she had purchased the firearm supposedly involved for protection after being “ripped off” while selling drugs.

Braunskill earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Bordley testified he never left his vehicle after driving supposed co-conspirator Zhyhee Y. Harmon (also convicted in the case) and his relative to the pier. Mr. Bordley claimed Harmon used his phone to send several texts to Braunskill that night.

The men returned to the vehicle on the run two to three minutes after it was parked, according to Mr. Bordley, along with “girls.” The defendant described Harmon as “panicking.”

Later, Mr. Bordley claimed, Harmon passed him notes planning post-arrest strategy while both were being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna.

“Zye wanted me to take blame for the incident,” Mr. Bordley testified. “…He wanted us to work together to establish (a) story.”

Mr. Hendricks was found dead on March 30. The cause of death — a gunshot wound to the chest. A state autopsy determined the shot was fired from just two inches away.

Mr. Bordley is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, first-degree robbery, and conspiracy counts. Resident Judge William L. Witham, overseeing the bench trial, said a verdict will be announced.

Three witnesses noted

In her closing argument co-prosecutor Deputy Attorney General Lindsay A. Taylor reviewed testimony of three eyewitnesses (including Braunskill’s college roommate who wasn’t charged) said the defendant fired the fatal shot, along with several other claims they apparently agreed on.

The trio was only loosely connected to each other if at all, Ms. Taylor said, and lacked a motive to tell untruths at this point in the case.

“It’s over two years ago but they all say the same thing,” she said.

The prosecution reviewed all three stating that Mr. Bordley and Braunskill dealt drugs together (described throughout trial as a “lick”) planned a robbery, saw the defendant run up to Mr. Hendricks and briefly scuffled with him and “they all saw that muzzle flash.”

Harmon and Braunskill both said that Mr. Bordley bought and sold the firearm supposedly involved in the shooting, the prosecution said. Harmon also corroborated statements when speaking to a law enforcement confidential informant while unknowingly being recorded, and the witnesses placed those at the pier in similar places, according to the prosecutor.

The day after, according to Ms. Taylor, Bordley texted Braunskill explaining that he had rolled Mr. Hendricks body over and didn’t see any blood on the pier. Soon afterward, news broke that Mr. Hendricks was dead, according to testimony.

Defense attorney Andre’ M. Beauregard said all the testimony involved persons who had “problems with credibility.” He claimed Braunskill and Harmon provided self-serving testimony to point the blame toward Mr. Bordley. He indicated a belief that the gun was in Braunskill’s hand when it accidentally went off.

Afterward, Mr. Beauregard said evidence showed that Braunskill wanted money back from the gun (referenced as “The Strap”) sale. He pointed to Braunskill’s changing versions of the events and claimed too much of the case against Mr. Bordley was based on her testimony and ability to supposedly improvise, modify and compartmentalize.

Defense: Forensics lacking

Also lacking was forensic evidence such as DNA, fingerprints and any gunshot residue, Mr. Beauregard argued, and claimed Harmon used Bordley’s phone to text Braunskill in the aftermath of the shooting.

No text messages implicated Mr. Bordley in the shooting, his attorney said.

Ms. Taylor (joined by prosecutor Alicia A. Porter) disputed that notion, claiming drug dealing partners Braunskill and Mr. Bordley — who she likened to “Bonnie and Clyde” — were in constant contact and Braunskill clearly recognized the defendant’s language and style of texting.

Mr. Beauregard posted a photo of Braunskill’s hand holding the firearm at the pier and maintained she was using it for a robbery to recoup drug dealing losses from two unrelated deals.

“She didn’t buy it for protection,” Mr. Beauregard said. “She bought it to show you don’t (expletive) with me …”

DAG Taylor believed that Mr. Bordley decided it was “Come up Season” to commit robberies in response to the setbacks and said he spotted photos on Braunskill’s phone of Mr. Hendricks touting the drugs and money he was involved with on social media.

At that point, the prosecution said, Mr. Hendricks’ “fate was sealed.”

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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