Niagara Gazette

July 26, 2013

Best hearing delayed

By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The attorney for a Buffalo man accused of helping his friend dispose of a murdered 5-year-old requested a one-week adjournment of Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Friday.

James Faso, who represents Tyler Best, said in light of the plea deal agreed to by Best's co-defendant John Freeman Jr., he needed to speak more with his client.

"There has been some discussions," Faso told the judge. "I'd ask for an adjournment for a week or so to sit down with Tyler and his family and make some progress."

Best, 18, is accused of assisting Freeman move the body of 5-year-old Isabella Tennant last August. He's charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution following Tennant's murder.

Police and prosecutors previously said they believe Freeman was the killer of the little girl and that Best’s only role in the incident was to help dispose of the body in a garbage tote. Investigators said Best led them to the body after he showed up at police headquarters, appearing shaken and remorseful, on the morning of Aug. 26.

Not long after Best spoke with detectives, police made the grisly discovery in a trash bag, buried in a garbage can in the 500 block alley of Third Street.

In March, Faso filed for severance between the two co-defendants, but said any ruling at the time could wait while Murphy considered more pressing matters in the case involving evidence against Freeman.

It was originally believed Friday's hearing was made moot by the plea Freeman finalized earlier this month, which Murphy recognized before granting Faso's request.

The hearing will reconvene Friday at Niagara County Court in Lockport.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.