GREENSBORO — At 16, D’Angelo Matthews sat in a police interrogation room accused of killing a 74-year-old man by hitting him in the head with a fire extinguisher.
At 18, he sat before Judge Stuart Albright on Monday — the first day of his first-degree murder trial — while his attorney made a motion to suppress video footage taken during his interrogation.
Matthews, of 3503 Sherbourne Lane in Greensboro, is one of three teenagers accused of killing Larry Eugene Brown, on July 29, 2015.
Also charged in Brown’s death are two Greensboro juveniles: Christopher Shakel Williams of 3616 Martin Ave. and Ketrellia Monaja Harris of 1326 Ogden St. Williams and Harris were both under 16 when the crime happened. Their cases are pending.
Police said Brown was walking to a bus stop when the teenagers allegedly struck him in the head. He was robbed of his wallet, a flashlight, a cellphone and $3.
Albright spent Monday afternoon reviewing the footage of Matthews’ interrogation.
Joe Floyd Jr., who is defending Matthews, filed a motion to suppress the video, arguing that midway through the footage, Matthews asks for his mother before he goes any further — but officers continue to ask questions.
Howard Neumann, the chief assistant district attorney for Guilford County, said that Matthews willingly spoke with police and that officers stopped their interrogation once the teenager asked for his mother.
In the video, Matthews talks about riding in the Plymouth Voyager minivan owned by the mother of Harris, who was 14 at the time of the crime. Matthews told police that Harris drove the van while he and friends sprayed fire extinguishers out a window.
Det. William Morton informs Matthews that witnesses told police that he killed Brown and that officers had security footage of the teenagers driving around.
“You are all up in it and I don’t want you to take the fall because you’re the bigger guy,” Morton tells Matthews in the video. “I know you took part in this, that’s not a question.”
But Morton said he needed to know from Matthews exactly what role he played in Brown’s death.
That’s when Matthews stopped the interview.
“I need to talk to my mom,” Matthews said in the video. “I’ll still talk to you, but I need to talk to my mom.”
Before Albright recessed court late Monday, Neumann told him that there was more than an hour’s worth of footage left.
Albright will continue watching the footage at 9:30 today when court resumes. He anticipates picking a jury on Wednesday.
Matthews has been offered a plea deal prior to the trial. If he doesn’t take it, he will face life in prison.