Hamden man accused of shooting Milford victim in Wallingford allegedly posted getaway car on Facebook
NEW HAVEN >> The lead police investigator for Wayne Bradbury’s alleged shooting of a young man during an attempted marijuana sale testified Thursday he saw the vehicle Bradbury allegedly drove that night listed for sale on Bradbury’s Facebook page.
Wallingford Police Detective Shawn Fairbrother said when he interviewed the victim at Yale New Haven Hospital, he obtained his cellphone to check calls made and received on May 5, 2016, the night of the shooting. “I came up with the name Wayne Bradbury.”
The 20-year-old victim, who was recovering from being shot in the stomach, told Fairbrother he didn’t know the shooter’s full name but he had saved his number on his phone under “W,” along with two smiley face emojis.
Fairbrother said because of the phone information, he “punched his name into Facebook and Mr. Bradbury’s profile came up.”
The detective recalled the victim saying the gunman was driving a white BMW. And so when Fairbrother logged onto Bradbury’s Facebook page, he said, “The first thing that jumped out at me was a photo of a white BMW that was for sale.”
According to the police warrant affidavit, Bradbury posted the photo of his car the day before the shooting.
The jurors looked at a series of photos from Bradbury’s Facebook page, including shots of that car.
Fairbrother testified he learned of the shooting the night it happened and drove to Wallingford’s Cook Hill Elementary School to check out the victim and his friend, who took over as the car’s driver after the shooting.
The two young men told police the victim was shot several miles away, in the parking lot of the CT Beverage Mart on North Colony Road. The victim tried to find the nearest hospital via his cellphone but they got lost and ended up at the school, where the victim called 911.
Bradbury, 32, of Hamden, is charged with first-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.
In earlier testimony Thursday, Wallingford police Officer Patrick Dempsey said he was sent to the scene of the shooting to seal it off shortly after other officers learned that’s where the crime had occurred.
Dempsey said he found a .45 caliber shell casing on the sidewalk near the liquor store. (The bullet, which passed out of the victim’s body, was never found.)
Dempsey testified he went to the Shell gas station next to the liquor store and learned there were surveillance cameras in use there. The cameras were pointed in the direction of the liquor store parking lot.
Dempsey said that because the videotape was “shot from a distance” from the crime, it’s not possible to see any faces.
While the jury watched on a screen, Dempsey narrated two videotapes that showed a white vehicle pull into a parking space outside the liquor store. About a half-hour later, a second car pulled up nearby and a person could be seen approaching the white vehicle on foot.
Shortly afterward, Dempsey noted, “You see him run back toward the vehicle he came from. The white four-door sedan leaves in a fast manner, turning left on North Colony Road southbound.”
The victim, who at the time of the shooting live in Milford, testified that after he walked up to the man from whom he had bought marijuana several times before, the seller said “Give me your money” and shot him as he ran away.
The victim said he had hesitated moments earlier because the seller told him the marijuana was in a shoebox on the floor of the car and the victim thought the situation “didn’t seem right.”
The victim said he was carrying $1,500 under his belt to buy eight ounces of the marijuana. He said he didn’t know what happened to the money.
The missing money became an issue while Senior Assistant State’s Attorney John P. Doyle Jr. was questioning Fairbrother about how police tracked Bradbury after securing a warrant for his arrest. Fairbrother said they found him and his girlfriend and their vehicles, including the white BMW, at the Comfort Inn in Meriden, where they had rented a room. He was arrested four days after the shooting.
When Doyle asked Fairbrother what police found in Bradbury’s clothes as they searched him, Fairbrother said, “a deed to the BMW and a substantial amount of cash.” Blue immediately asked the jury to leave the courtroom and scolded Doyle for asking that question, which resulted in jurors hearing about the money Bradbury was carrying.
Blue noted Doyle and defense attorney Christopher Parker had been scheduled to argue later Thursday on Parker’s motion to exclude from the jury information about the cash being found. Doyle apologized repeatedly and said his mistake had not been intentional.
Blue said he didn’t think “permanent damage” had been done in terms of a fair trial.
When the session was held Thursday afternoon, with the jury absent, Doyle said he thought the information was relevant because Bradbury had nearly $4,000 in his pockets, including 14 or 15 crisp $100 bills. The victim had testified that much of the $1,500 under his belt during the shooting was in new $100 bills.
But Blue noted the bills could have come from somebody other than the victim. Blue granted Parker’s motion to exclude this from the trial because it was merely circumstantial evidence and because “some measured, modest sanction should be imposed” in light of Doyle’s legal error.
Call Randall Beach at 203-680-9345.