What started as a vacation turned into a tragedy for the family of William “Bill” Stewart.
Heather Mickey-Dill and her family traveled Feb. 9 to 14, 2020, to Orlando, Fla. with Keith Bradshaw to celebrate her son’s 16th birthday.
As the trip neared its end, the family allegedly clashed with Bradshaw after the teenage boy claimed he had been assaulted.
Mickey-Dill told that story Tuesday as she testified during the second day of Bradshaw’s murder and sexual assault trial in Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
Bradshaw, 34, of Everson, is accused of fatally shooting William Stewart on Feb. 18, 2020, and then kidnapping Mickey-Dill’s son. Bradshaw also is charged with sexual misconduct from August 2019 through February 2020.
Fayette County Judge Steve Leskinen is presiding over the case.
Mickey-Dill testified Tuesday that during the Orlando trip, Bradshaw and her son got into an argument. Dill said her son confided to Stewart he had been assaulted by Bradshaw.
After returning to their Connellsville home, her son told Mickey-Dill he didn’t want to live with Bradshaw, who was attempting to take her son, she testified.
Mickey-Dill testified that during an argument, Bradshaw attempted to punch Stewart but missed. Bradshaw then left the home, she said.
Mickey-Dill testified she could tell her son feared Bradshaw.
On Feb. 15, Marjorie Ann Jay, 39, of Connellsville, came to Mickey-Dill’s house late that evening and said Bradshaw had a video of Mickey-Dill shooting a gun. Mickey-Dill testified that she didn’t shoot Bradshaw’s gun and believed Jay was doing it to intimidate her.
Mickey-Dill said that following the interaction with Jay and a text from Bradshaw about his gun, she contacted Connellsville Police on Feb. 17. She testified she was advised to seek a protection from abuse court order against Bradshaw.
Mickey-Dill testified she went to sleep and early Feb. 18 was awakened by her four dogs and went to the living room to check on her son, who had been sleeping on the couch earlier in the evening.
He wasn’t there.
Mickey-Dill testified that she noticed the door open and saw Stewart lying on his stomach.
“I said, ‘Babe, what are you doing?’ and I felt him and he was cold,” Mickey-Dill testified. “I started screaming and our neighbor, Amber Beatty, came over, and William’s oldest son, Ryan (Lamanna), who was in the house with his girlfriend, came out and they both flipped him over to do CPR.”
Under cross-examination, Bradshaw’s attorney, Gary E. Gerson, asked Mickey-Dill why she didn’t notify authorities of alleged assaults when they were first discussed.
Mickey-Dill stated Stewart said they would discuss the allegations when they returned from Florida. She said she was going to seek the PFA earlier but had to wait because of Presidents’ Day holiday.
Beatty testified that she awakened to something that “sounds like someone popped a balloon in my ear.”
She said she heard one or two more popping sounds and went downstairs where the father of her daughter, Andrew Brunson, was staying in a room.
Beatty testified she called and texted Stewart, but he didn’t respond.
Beatty testified she saw two males and one female running to an alley by her home. She said the three were roughly 7 feet away, and she recognized only Mickey-Dill’s son.
Beatty said the female was carrying a bag and didn’t recall hearing anyone getting into a vehicle.
Beatty said she heard Mickey-Dill’s screams and assisted Lamanna. She said they couldn’t find a pause on Stewart.
Lamanna testified he was home late following a concert and relaxing when he heard three gunshots.
He told his girlfriend, Tessa Halfhill, to hide in the bathroom while he took out his handgun and pointed it toward the front door.
Lamanna testified he heard Mickey-Dill screaming and found his father lying on his stomach. Lamanna said he and Beatty flipped Stewart over, and when they couldn’t find a pulse, Halfhill called Fayette 911.
Retired Connellsville police Sgt. Daniel Sherbinsky testified he was taking a break in a vacant lot near East Crawford Avenue while working the nightshift when he was called for a report of shots fired and headed to 238 E. Fairview Ave.
On the way, he saw an individual in black attire leaning against a building and acting suspiciously, Sherbinsky testified.
He passed the individual, but when that person attempted to run behind his police vehicle, flashed his high beams on a woman who identified herself as Donna L. Campbell.
Sherbinsky said he asked the woman why she was out late and noticed she had a white plastic shopping bag in her hand.
She told him it contained clothing.
Sherbinsky testified he saw the handle of a Taser sticking out of the bag, noting the device is not to be used by civilians.
Sherbinsky testified he confiscated the Taser and released the woman who claimed to be Campbell before heading to 238 E. Fairview Ave.
At the scene, Sherbinsky and other officers “cleared the house” then found Stewart lying on the floor. Sherbinsky said he didn’t find a pulse and the Fayette County coroner was called.
Under cross-examination, defense attorney Blaine Jones asked Sherbinsky if he believed the woman was being dishonest by using the name “Donna L. Campbell” when she had been identified as “Marjorie Ann Jay” or “Marjorie Murphy.”
Sherbinsky said yes.
Jones asked Sherbinsky if Jay ever mentioned she had information or if he saw Bradshaw during his shift that night into early morning. Sherbinsky said he didn’t see Bradshaw and Jay didn’t offer information.
Answering questions from District Attorney Richard Bower, Connellsville Police Capt. William Huss testified he was called in the early hours of Feb. 18, 2020, to help with the investigation and met with Campbell, who stated Jay sent her a text and came to her house to change clothes.
Huss said Campbell told him Jay provided her with a black tote bag containing two sets of handcuffs, a roll of duct tape, seven belts, and leg shackles.
Huss testified he performed a gun-residue test on Jay 8:45 a.m. Feb. 18, 2020, and turned all the evidence over to Connellsville police Detective Lt. Thomas Patton.
Testimony was scheduled to resume 9 a.m. Wednesday.