Police: Text messages link suspects to Port Mahon shooting

DOVER — A 19-year-old Camden-Wyoming woman’s text messages allegedly connected her to a shooting victim as detectives investigated a fatal incident at the Port Mahon Pier on March 30, authorities said in court documents.

Before his death, the last text messages that Dontray Hendricks, 24, of Dover, received were from a phone linked to Chelsea Braunskill, according to Delaware State Police in a probable cause affidavit. The messages were sent at 8:15 p.m., 10:31 p.m. and 10:32 p.m. on March 29.

The next day, police said, Mr. Hendricks died from a gunshot wound to the torso inflicted during a struggle with three suspects at the pier. Police were called to the scene at 12:39 p.m.

On Wednesday, police announced that Ms. Braunskill, Daiquan T. Bordley, 22, of Dover, and Zhyhee Harmon, 22, of Dover, had been

Zhyhee Y. Harmon

Zhyhee Y. Harmon

arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and second-degree conspiracy. They are being held by the Delaware Department of Correction pending a preliminary hearing court appearance.

Police alleged that Mr. Bordley shot Mr. Hendricks and Ms. Braunskill knew of a plan to rob the victim man of drugs and/or cash upon their arrival to allegedly smoke marijuana.

In court papers, police said that Mr. Hendricks cell phone was not located when he was discovered. He was last seen by a family member at 10 p.m. on March 29, and said “he was leaving their residence in Dover at that time.”

On April 26, police said in papers, a person whose name was redacted turned herself in to Troop 3. A post Miranda video-recorded interview was conducted in the presence of her lawyer.

“(Name redacted) admitted her involvement in this crime,” police said in papers.

“(Name redacted) advised that her co-conspirator was Daiquan ‘Keys’ Bordley and their plan was to rob (name redacted) of cash and/or marijuana. (Name redacted) identified Bordley as the person who shot Hendricks.”

One unidentified male suspect remains at large, police said.

Police make contact

On April 19, police said in papers, detectives contacted Ms. Braunskill at the number linked to Mr. Hendricks’ cell phone through cell tower and call detail records. Police said it was confirmed to be Ms. Braunskill’s number.

Chelsea Braunskill

Chelsea Braunskill

Ms. Braunskill was subsequently interviewed at Troop 3 that day, police said in papers, and provided an account of the incident they did not find believable.

She then “refused to answer any further questions without an attorney,” police said.

Initially, police said, Ms. Braunskill told investigators that she was picked up by Mr. Hendricks at her Delaware State University dormitory and traveled to Port Mahon, where they were confronted by three suspects.

“Braunskill advised that she ran off the pier and hid in the tall grass,” police wrote in papers. “Braunskill advised that she heard a single gunshot and the three suspects left the area. Braunskill advised that she did not check on Hendricks’ condition” and then walked from Port Mahon to DSU.

While Ms. Braunskill said she had a cell phone, authorities said in papers, she couldn’t use it due to a lack of reception at Port Mahon.

“Braunskill advised that she did not call 911 because she was scared,” according to a detective in the affidavit.

Daiquan T. Bordley

Daiquan T. Bordley

“Braunskill advised that she has not told anyone about the incident. Braunskill advised that she sold the jacket she was wearing the night of the incident.”

At that point, police said in papers, detectives questioned the validity of her version of events.

A search warrant was obtained for Ms. Braunskill’s cell phone on April 19, police said, and the High Technology Crimes Unit examined it.

“The examination yielded numerous text messages in which Braunskill and an unknown person discuss setting up the crime and their actions after the crime,” authorities wrote in documents.

Police asked that anyone with information regarding the unidentified suspect to contact Detective Dan Grassi at 365-8441. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, online at www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.