Bordley murder trial set to start

Daiquan T. Bordley

DOVER — A murder trial scheduled nearly a year ago regarding a 2016 shooting death at the Port Mahon pier was delayed for a fifth time Monday.

This time, however, the postponement was expected to last just a day as prosecutors in the case of Daiquan T. Bordley planned to pick up a witness today in Maryland for transport to Kent County Superior Court.

While Deputy Attorneys General Lindsay A. Taylor and Alicia A. Porter sought to begin the trial as scheduled Monday, Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr. accepted defense attorney Andre’ M. Beauregard’s request for a continuance in order to assure the witness will be available for testimony today. The judge noted that time had already been saved by not picking a jury in the bench trial in explaining his decision.

“We have the luxury of some additional time,” he said.

According to Ms. Taylor beforehand, “This case has been continued numerous times, the last time at the request of defense counsel.”

Concerned about the possible unavailability of a witness he deemed crucial to Mr. Bordley’s defense, Mr. Beauregard said “Our information is that she’s not even in Maryland at this time.”

While the witness was believed to be in California recently, Ms. Taylor said she spoke with her last Thursday and the upcoming court appearance was confirmed.

“She’s been subpoenaed and the state at this point has no reason to believe she will not appear,” Ms. Taylor said.

Mr. Bordley, 24, of Smyrna, was indicted on first-degree murder and robbery charges, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and second-degree conspiracy after Dontray Hendricks died from gunshot wounds on March 30, 2016. Two other persons were charged with felonies as well.

DAG Taylor indicated Monday that two police officers, a Kent County employee and alleged co-conspirator Chelsea Braunskill were scheduled to testify as witnesses to begin the trial.

The trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. today.

Mr. Beauregard told Judge Witham that an earlier plea offer from the prosecution was rejected.

On Monday, Mr. Bordley voluntarily elected to have a judge-only trial after consulting with his attorney and confirmed “Yes your honor” and “Yes” several times to the Court while acknowledging that he fully understood the ramifications of the decision. Attorneys vouched for his mental competence to make the decision.

The trial was first scheduled for Aug. 14 and then Aug. 21, 2017, then postponed for November of that year, followed by continued trial dates in February and April of 2018.

Court records indicated Mr. Bordley is being held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. 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.

Delaware State Police alleged that Mr. Bordley shot Mr. Hendricks in the torso after a physical altercation. Mr. Hendricks originally went to the pier with Ms. Braunskill to allegedly smoke marijuana, detectives claimed.

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