Tonawanda News

The Town

June 26, 2014

Trial for man suspected in killing bar owner adjourned

Tonawanda News — The trial of Antonio Martin-Brown, the 20-year-old accused of killing Kenmore man Vincent James Cottone, has been adjourned until July 28 due to an attorney's scheduling conflict.

Martin-Brown, who is being held in the Erie County Holding Center, allegedly killed Cottone on a Sunday morning in May 2013. Cottone, who owned Malone's Bar & Grill on Delaware Avenue, died from blunt force injuries in his Landers Road home, police said.

Martin-Brown, who is also accused of stealing a check from Cottone, is charged with second-degree murder and petit larceny. He surrendered to police a month after the alleged killing and has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities have not released many details about the case, but some information was provided during a pretrial hearing in September. At that hearing, Detective Joseph Vacanti said Cottone had reported a stolen check before his death. Vacanti said he identified the defendant based on photographs from an M&T Bank branch security camera, 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. The nature of their relationship has not been made clear. 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 June 2013, when he turned himself in to authorities.

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The Town