Brenda Newkirk believes neither the media nor the public have any idea what really happened the day she allegedly shot Henry Davis Jr. to death.
But according to a Jan. 26 letter she sent to The Citizen from the Cayuga County Jail, Newkirk said the evening her live-in boyfriend died unfolded much differently than previously reported.
In the hand-written letter, Newkirk claimed she did not start the fight that cost the 42-year-old Conquest man his life. She said Davis tried to choke her, and stated she simply wanted to "stay out of an angry drunken boyfriend's way."
District Attorney Jon Budelmann, however, disagreed. He refuted Newkirk's statements and her allusion that she acted in self-defense.
"That does not match up with the recording or the interviews," Budelmann said. "It's not in line with the facts as I know them."
Pointing out that Davis made the first call to Cayuga County 911 on Sunday, Oct. 28, Budelmann said that Newkirk never mentioned self-defense or abuse during either her interview with investigators or her conversations with emergency dispatchers.
In her letter, the 40-year-old Conquest woman asked for privacy for both her and Davis' families.
"How hurtful it must be to them to see my face there knowing who I am," Newkirk said. "Do you know how difficult you all make it for our children, like they have not been through enough?"
Continuing on, the mother of two said depictions of her character or the narrative of Davis' death do not match up with reality. In fact, she wrote, "God and my dog know the truth because I don't even know why or how such a heinous thing happened."
She said there was "one helluva fight" — something she denied instigating.
"You don't know what his BAC level was that night or if there was anything else found in his blood," Newkirk wrote. "You don't know that he tried to choke me to death and yes I bore marks upon my neck when arrested."
Rome Canzano, Newkirk's defense attorney, said he visited his client at the Cayuga County Jail — where she is currently being held without bail — earlier this week to discuss her letter. He said she had no more plans to speak with the media.
For now, Canzano said he and Newkirk would let the case "work through the system."
"We're continuing to explore the evidence in the case and will explore all avenues in the interest of both parties," he said.
In her Jan. 24 appearance in Cayuga County Court, Newkirk pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder, a felony, denying allegations accusing her of intentionally killing Davis at the 10295 Egypt Road home the couple shared for at least two years.
During his client's arraignment, Canzano gave the court notice that if he and Newkirk would pursue a psychiatric defense if her case went to trial.
As her case makes its way through the court, Newkirk asked the media and the public to treat all parties involved — especially Davis' daughter and her two children — with kindness.
"Life has taken an awful turn for all of us and it is very sad," she wrote. "I am sorry that a life has been taken and wish more than anything it didn't happen and I don't know how it did."