Bordley fired fatal shot on Port Mahon pier, convicted accomplice testifies

DOVER — They met in Spanish class at Delaware State University, Chelsea Braunskill testified, eventually dealt marijuana together and planned a robbery that resulted in a shooting death at the Port Mahon pier two years ago.

In Superior Court Wednesday, Braunskill testified that defendant Daiquan T. Bordley fired a fatal gunshot into Dontray Hendricks on March 29, 2016, while also admitting that several of her previous statements to investigating police were lies designed to avoid suspicion.

Eventually, Braunskill pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Bordley, 24, of Smyrna, is charged with first-degree murder and robbery counts possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and second-degree conspiracy. Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. will decide the bench trial’s outcome.

Devised a plan

According to Braunskill on the witness stand, she and Mr. Bordley devised a plan to lure Mr. Hendricks to the pier after he was seen on social media touting drugs and media. The aim was to recoup losses in two previous unrelated drug deals involving a combined eight ounces of marijuana, she said.

The plan was for Mr. Bordley to rob Mr. Hendricks with Braunskill pretending to be unaware of his identity, she said. Two other men appeared on the pier as well, she said.

Asked by defense attorney Andre’ Beauregard about the discrepancies in interviews with police, Braunskill responded with “The second statement was more of the truth than the second statement.” She also acknowledged untruths in the second statement as well.

Also, Braunskill recalled, “I was scared during the first interview and lied. We had never done anything like that.”

Delaware State Police detectives immediately dismissed Braunskill’s first version as full of falsehoods based on evidence already gathered, a videotaped interview played in court indicated. They believed she was covering up for someone else and urge her to help her own future by taking a different approach to what she was telling authorities.

Spoke with father

At that point in the interview, Braunskill asked to speak with her father and agreed with detectives to start over explaining her version of events. A second interview was conducted with an attorney present.

The defense pointed to several of the admitted lies, along with Braunskill’s online search “Are your fingerprints in the system if you don’t have a record?” after the shooting. Braunskill explained she had left a juice bottle at the scene before leaving in Mr. Hendricks vehicle with her college roommate who was not charged in the case.

Mr. Bordley approached Mr. Hendricks on the pier and said “You know what it is” before shooting him, Braunskill testified. She left the pier not knowing if Mr. Hendricks was alive and learned of his death the next day, Braunskill claimed.

Buying and selling

Braunskill testified that she first began buying from the defendant but “I was bringing in so much money I” decided to sell with him.

Eventually, Braunskill said Mr. Bordley bought a firearm from alleged co-conspirator Zhyhee Y. Harmon, who pleaded guilty to related felonies and is serving prison time. She also agreed to the transaction, according to testimony. Braunskill said she fired the gun she described as a “small 380” once, according to testimony, and Mr. Bordley kept the firearm with him most of the time.

Evidence of Braunskill holding the gun on the day it was purchased was entered.

Braunskill said she asked her roommate to join her on the robbery try because “I had never robbed anyone and I guess I brought her for moral support.”

While Braunskill first told police she walked several miles from Port Mahon to her DSU dormitory, she later said she drove away in Hendricks’s vehicle to Persimmon Tree Apartments.

Destroyed phone

Mr. Hendricks’ phone was destroyed in order to avoid possible evidence, Braunskill testified.

Harmon began a second day of testimony Wednesday explaining that his original version of events was false and he couldn’t stick to it because “the truth had come out.” He testified that Mr. Bordley allegedly discharged the fatal gunshot.

Deputy Attorneys General Alicia A. Porter and Lindsay A. Taylor are prosecuting the case. An earlier plea offer was declined, according to the defense.

Mr. Bordley is being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. Police said he was arrested without incident in the Chestnut Street area in Smyrna on April 29, 2016 and indicted by a grand jury on July 5, 2016.

He waived the right to a speedy trial on Aug. 4, 2017.

Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or canderson@newszap.com.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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