Flanigan Park homicide trial gets underway

A key witness repeatedly testified he was convinced the man who shot and killed his brother in Williamsport’s Flanigan Park nearly two years ago was Raymaar Alford.

Braheem Connolly said he was 100 percent sure, even 110 percent sure, it was Alford who gunned down Kevan James Connolly on July 9, 2012.

Drama and tensions ran high as family members and friends of both the accused and victim engaged in some shouting and pushing just outside the courtroom as testimony wrapped up on the trial’s first day.

Lycoming County sheriff’s deputies quickly broke up the scuffle.

Mekia Connolly, of Upper Darby, was taken into custody and arraigned before Judge Allen P. Page III where she pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a $221 fine.

Braheem Connolly recounted the night of the shooting as well as events that led up to it.

He testified that Alford and three other men approached him and his younger brother, Kevan, 23, in Flanigan Park where more than 100 people had gathered for basketball games the night of the shooting.

He said he and one of the men, Qu Mar Moore, began arguing.

The two, he later explained, had a disagreement over a girl.

He said both Moore and Alford patted their mid-sections to make it clear they had guns.

“I seen Qu Mar pull a gun,” he said.

And then, he said he saw Alford point a gun at both him and his brother.

Connolly testified he saw both Alford and Moore fire shots.

He said only his brother was hit by gunfire.

Both gunmen then fled the scene as did the brothers.

But his brother didn’t make it out of the park before collapsing.

Kevan Connolly died later that evening after being rushed by ambulance to Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Under questioning from defense attorney Donald Martino, Braheem Connolly was asked why he didn’t identify either Alford or Moore when he was brought in by police for questioning the night of the shooting.

“I didn’t want to be a rat,” he said. “I knew who they were but said I didn’t. Where I come from, it can get you killed.”

Connolly went over the events that occurred July 7, just two days before the shooting.

He recalled walking with his brother along High Street in the city when they were approached by a group of men including Alford and Moore.

“My brother and Qu Mar started fighting,” he recalled.

He said Alford was waving a gun, he used to hit his brother.

No shots were fired.

By the time police arrived, Alford and Moore and the others had fled.

Connolly said he didn’t have much to tell police after the fight. He said he figured it was a situation he and his brother could handle without getting them involved.

He testified that the gun Alford used to strike his brother was the same one he used to shoot him two days later at Flanigan Park.

Also testifying were police officers who responded to the shooting scene.

Williamsport Police Officer Josh Bell said when he arrived at the park, he spotted between 150 and 200 people surrounding a man on the ground.

But when he tried to question possible witnesses about the shooting, he was met with hostility.

Williamsport Police Corporal Dustin Reeder said he found six shell casings from two different guns as well as blood at the northeast end of the basketball courts in the park. He testified he found a bullet and a larger amount of blood elsewhere on the courts.

Testimony in the trial is to resume today before Lycoming County Judge Nancy Butts.