Niagara Gazette


April 18, 2014

Man accused of killing Kenmore bar owner appears in court

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Antonio Martin-Brown, the man accused of killing Malone’s owner Vincent Cottone, appeared in Erie County Court on Thursday to schedule his non-jury trial, now set for June 24.

“The trial was initially scheduled for next week, but it took longer than expected to schedule the psychiatric exam, “ State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia said.

The psychiatric exam is now set for next week, and attorneys will receive the doctor’s report in May before the trial, which is expected to last for four days.

Martin-Brown, 20, of Buffalo, appeared professional in court on Thursday, wearing a button-up shirt and tie. He is being held at the Erie County Holding Center.

He is accused of killing the 62-year-old Kenmore resident on the morning of May 19. Cottone died from blunt force injuries in his Landers Road home, police said.

Martin-Brown, who is also accused of stealing a check from Cottone, was charged with second-degree murder and petit larceny. He surrendered to police in June and pleaded not guilty.

During a pre-sentence hearing in September,  Detective Joseph Vacanti said Cottone had reported a stolen check before his death. Vacanti identified the defendant based on photographs from an M&T Bank, where Martin-Brown cashed the $800 check.

The day after Cottone’s body was found, Martin-Brown admitted to Kenmore police that he had stolen the check. A criminal investigator with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Mark Stambach, then questioned him about Cottone’s death. Martin-Brown said “I don’t know anything about the death.”

In his statements to authorities, Martin-Brown acknowledged he had some sort of relationship with Cottone, and had been to his house several times. Cottone never locked his doors and didn’t use a key, Martin-Brown said.

Stambach then began accusing Martin-Brown of killing Cottone during a second round of questioning. After Stambach asked the defendant to take a polygraph test, the defendant requested an attorney, and the questioning was stopped.

Kenmore police then charged him with petit larceny for stealing the check. Martin-Brown wasn’t charged in connection with the killing until early June, when he turned himself in to authorities.

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