The five people accused of participating in the alleged robbery that left Levittown musician Danny DeGennaro dead in 2011 were trading text messages and phone calls in the hours surrounding the killing, prosecutors told a jury Wednesday in Bucks County Court.
According to the timeline sketched out by Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub and Bristol Township Detective Gregory Beidler, a flurry of calls in the moments immediately before and after the slaying went to the plan's alleged mastermind, Jermaine Jackson, 20, of Trenton.
Jackson is standing trial in DeGennaro's death this week. Prosecutors contend that he ordered two shooters and two getaway drivers to participate in a plot to rob DeGennaro, and that DeGennaro was shot in the chest with a shotgun when the robbery went bad.
Jackson is the only alleged conspirator being tried this week. The four others are facing separate trials.
His attorney has said that Jackson, a drug dealer, was completing a transaction with DeGennaro but did not want DeGennaro robbed or shot.
Using cellphone records obtained through subpoena, Weintraub and Beidler outlined a minute-by-minute timeline of the night DeGennaro was killed, saying the plan's participants were in constant contact with Jackson in the moments surrounding the killing.
Testimony from Tuesday established that Nicholas Wilson, DeGennaro's neighbor, called 911 at 10:06 p.m. to report DeGennaro's being shot.
According to phone records, Beidler said Jackson placed calls to 19-year-old Danasia Bakr - one of the alleged getaway drivers - at 9:44, 9:45, and 9:56 p.m. The last call, Beidler said, lasted until 10:02.
Between 10:02 and 10:04 p.m., Beidler said, none of the coconspirators was on the phone.
But between 10:04 and 10:06 p.m., Beidler said, Breon Powell - the 21-year-old who allegedly shot DeGennaro - called Jackson five times.
The content of the calls is not known, nor was it clear from testimony provided Wednesday where Jackson was at the time.
Months after the killing, in February, investigators had identified Bakr, Jackson, and the second alleged getaway driver, Tatyana Henderson, 19, of Bensalem, as suspects.
Henderson and Bakr have cooperated with authorities in recent months and are expected to testify against Jackson on Thursday.
Weintraub said in his opening statement Tuesday that the two were key witnesses in the prosecution's case.
Defense attorney Craig Penglase is expected to try to discredit them as witnesses, saying in his opening statement that they may be willing to lie to assist prosecutors in hopes that their sentences are reduced.