Sheriff’s Office: Baton Rouge man accidentally shoots, kills friend; thought magazine empty after firing gun New Year’s Eve _lowres

Nicholas Matthews, 23

A Baton Rouge man who fatally shot his friend Saturday inside his Prescott Road home told Sheriff’s Office detectives he thought the handgun was unloaded.

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies booked Nicholas Matthews, who turns 24 Monday, into Parish Prison on counts of negligent homicide, illegal use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Matthews admitted to detectives that he shot 30-year-old Dalina “Demarkis” Stansberry while the two were standing in the living room of Matthews’ home at 7584 Prescott Drive, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

Matthews told investigators he thought he’d emptied the handgun’s magazine when he fired a number of rounds on New Year’s Eve and didn’t realize any bullets remained in the gun, the report says.

Frederick Matthews, Stansberry’s friend and the brother of the shooter, said he’d gone to his brother’s house with Stansberry to pick up DJ equipment and was in another room when the shooting happened, the report says.

Although he originally told detectives he’d seen the front door open and an unknown assailant running down Prescott Drive immediately after the shooting, Frederick Matthews eventually changed his story under questioning, the report says.

He also said that he had noticed a handgun tucked into his brother’s front waistband when he arrived at the house with Stansberry Saturday, the report says.

He walked into the kitchen and heard a gunshot seconds later, the report says.

After hearing the gunshot, Frederick Matthews said he went back into the living room and saw his brother holding a gun and standing over Stansberry’s body, repeatedly saying, “I f***** up. I f***** up,” the report says.

Frederick Matthews said he called his father who told him to call 911, the report says.

Nicholas Matthews drove away from the house with the handgun, the report says. He initially hid the weapon on a vacant lot in the 4000 block of Fairwoods Drive but told deputies where to find it after turning himself in around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Stansberry, who was shot in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, said Dr. William “Beau” Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner.

Although Stansberry was born a woman and is referred to as such in the Sheriff’s Office report, Myesha Brown, who said she was Stansberry’s girlfriend of fours years, said Stansberry identified as a male and went by the first name of “Demarkis.”

Brown said Sunday Stansberry had known both of the Matthews brothers “for a very long time” and was friends with both of them.

A number of former high school classmates and other friends of Stansberry took to Facebook over the weekend to express shock and sadness over Stansberry’s death, using both “Dalina” and “Demarkis” to refer to the victim in comments.

Bail for Nicholas Matthews, who remained in Parish Prison Sunday afternoon, is $90,000.

Follow Bryn Stole on Twitter, @BrynStole.