Monday, February 9, 2015
Cop: Witness in 2006 Bristol Twp. murder lied to be more believable
Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
A one-time star eyewitness provided “accurate” information about a 2006 murder that went unsolved for six years, according to a Bristol Township detective, but he left out one critical detail in his court testimony: He wasn’t there.
Detective Tim Fuhrmann testified Wednesday that he had contact with Kyle Page, 29, of Bristol Township, more than a dozen times since 2009, when Page first testified before a Bucks County grand jury about witnessing his first cousin Ckaron Handy fatally shoot Kevin Battista in a botched drug-deal-turned-robbery.
But it wasn’t until November — after authorities learned that Page was in jail on the day of the murder — that he admitted he didn’t see the murder like he claimed, Fuhrmann told the court during a preliminary hearing for Page, who is accused of three counts of felony perjury.
Fuhrmann told the court that Page did change his first story slightly, requiring him to make a second appearance in 2009 before the grand jury investigating the murder. But he never told the grand jury that he wasn’t there when the shooting took place.
Initially, Page’s story was that he saw Handy shoot Battista from a window at his grandmother’s house, the detective said. But he changed the story and claimed that he was standing 10 feet away from Handy when Handy shot Battista, 30, on Dec. 7, 2006, at Airacobra Street and Mitchell Road, Fuhrmann testified.
But when confronted with the fact that he was in prison on the day of the murder, Page claimed that the details he provided to police about the murder came from Handy, Fuhrmann told the court. Page also said he lied about seeing the crime because he thought he’d be more believable as an eyewitness, Fuhrmann said.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office was alerted by Handy’s defense attorneys that Page might have been incarcerated the day of Battista’s murder, Fuhrmann said.
On cross examination by public defender John Fagan on Wednesday, Fuhrmann said that the information Page provided was accurate, other than the part about him being present when Battista was killed.
“It was accurate based on our working theory (of the crime) at the time,” the detective added.
Page, who has a long criminal history going back to 2004, had requested Fuhrmann’s “assistance” with “various problems” in the years between 2009 and last year, the detective said. Page also persuaded the DA’s office to relocate his family to a “safer area” claiming their lives were in danger, Fuhrmann added.
After his deception was learned, Page wrote two letters to the DA’s office apologizing for lying about witnessing the murder, according to police.
Following Fuhrmann’s testimony, District Judge Joanne Kline — whom Page testified before at Handy’s 2013 preliminary hearing — held him for trial on the perjury charges. He remains in Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $25,000 bail.
Handy, now 26, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder and robbery in the shooting of death Battista.