PORTLAND, Maine — The mother of Mark Cardilli Jr. struggled to remember details of the fatal incident at their family home on March 16, which resulted in her son shooting Isahak Muse with a pistol.
Suzanne Cardilli told the courtroom on Wednesday she didn’t remember answers to specific questions asked by state attorneys. And many of the details she provided contradicted her own account told to police hours after the event.
Suzanne Cardlli testified that Muse, a guest in the house, slapped the phone from her hand as she attempted to call 911 as an altercation broke out between him and Cardilli Jr.
But that testimony is inconsistent with statements she made in previous video recordings replayed in the courtroom. Initially the woman did not say Muse had grabbed, slapped or punched the phone after being directly asked by police.
“I tried to call 911, but my phone — I don’t know why — didn’t do it.” Suzanne Cardilli told police in March.
The night of the incident, three members of the Cardilli family told Muse he needed to leave by 1 a.m., according to testimony and other statements. But Muse, who lived in South Portland and had been dropped off at the house, refused. With the aid of his girlfriend Chelsey Cardilli, he attempted to negotiate invitation to stay the night, as had happened many times before.
Between 1 and 2 a.m., after an attempt by Mark Cardilli Sr. and his son to physically remove Muse from the house failed, Cardilli Jr. shot Muse. A state medical examiner said the bullets were fired at “close contact” and two entered Muse through the back.
Suzanne Cardilli said Wednesday that Muse was “disrespectful” and “rude” the night of the event as he tried to negotiate an extension.
“He didn’t look right, I didn’t like the way his eyes looked, just looking at me, I didn’t like it,” Suzanne Cardilli told the court.
Chelsey Cardilli — Suzanne’s daughter and Muse’s girlfriend at the time of the shooting — said that Muse would stay over “three or four times a week” in her Monday testimony. Suzanne Cardilli’s didn’t immediately confirm that. She said Wednesday that she “wasn’t aware” when asked by state attorneys if Muse had been staying over “two to three times a week.”
She later said that Muse had frequently been given permission to stay the night at the Cardilli family home at 107 Milton St.
Other accounts Suzanne Cardilli offered Wednesday also differed from accounts she gave to police in March, which were played as courtroom evidence. She told the defense on Wednesday that she left during the altercation to go to a neighbor’s house, returning to find Muse on the ground for the first time. That account disputes what she told police hours after the event, when Suzanne Cardilli said that Cardilli Jr. had Muse on the ground during the fight.
“I don’t know about my memory anymore,” an exasperated Suzanne Cardilli said to state attorneys on Wednesday.
The trial of Cardilli Jr., who shot and killed Muse, began Monday. While his family was from Somalia, Muse was born and raised in Portland and attended Deering High School. He would have turned 23 on Tuesday. He had been Chelsey Cardilli’s boyfriend for about a year before his death.