Niagara Gazette — LOCKPORT -- Jury selection began on Monday in the murder trial of Matthew "Bones" Davis.
After a day of questioning by prosecutors and defense lawyers, three jurors were seated in the case. Selection will continue later today for a panel of 12 with two alternates.
Prosecutors said they hoped they might make their opening arguments by this afternoon.
Davis faces two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in the slaying of Antoine Bradberry. Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III is presiding over the case.
In May, Davis declined to ask that Murphy be removed as the judge for his trial. Murphy had disclosed to Davis and his lawyers that in 2002, while he was the Niagara County district attorney, he had prosecuted Davis on an assault charge.
That prior prosecution could have raised a question about whether Murphy could be impartial in trying Davis' case, but the judge assured Davis he believed he could give him a fair trial.
Davis was on the run for more than seven months before being arrested, in May, by federal marshals in a West Virginia trailer park. He had been living there under an alias and had dramatically changed his physical appearance.
Investigators have described Davis as the mastermind in the Bradberry murder.
Prosecutors handling the case said Bradberry was killed in his Rainbow Boulevard apartment on Aug. 23, 2011 after being held down on his sofa and asphyxiated with a shirt. Investigators said the slaying was the result of a botched robbery attempt by Davis and two women accomplices, Teara Dominique Fatico and Chasity Lee Wilson.
Fatico, 22, and Wilson, 21, were each charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. In November, they both pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree burglary and agreed to testify against Davis.
Both admitted that they played a role in the murder, but each fingered Davis as the killer.
Fatico and Wilson are now each serving 13-year prison terms.