The man on trial for the shooting deaths of a woman and her grandson on Grape Street in Buffalo testified on Thursday.
Kenyatta Austin, 26, of Niagara Falls, gave his side of the story to Buffalo Police in a video statement the day after the shooting that left two injured and two dead, including 56-year-old Yvette Johnson and her 1-and-a-half-year-old grandson Kyrie Johnson, outside the family home in the early morning of July 2, 2018.
During a lengthy interview, which prosecutors did not play in court, Austin said he didn’t have any involvement in the shooting.
Austin said he was at a family picnic in Lancaster on July 1, and while driving a rented white Sonata with his girlfriend’s E-ZPass inside to Niagara Falls afterward, four men in a silver car sped up alongside him and started shooting at the vehicle.
Austin says he drove back to Buffalo on July 2 to visit his mom and get the car repaired.
When asked about the rifle in the basement and ammunition found in his bedroom, he told investigators he didn’t know anything about either of them or that they were even in the home.
Austin also agreed to a DNA swab, telling investigators they wouldn’t find his DNA on anything.
As for the shooting, he said he heard about it from home on the news and had no idea how the rental car was at the scene.
Defense attorneys say evidence to date supports their initial opening statement.
“We’ve said from the beginning that this case has some gaps in it. And in those gaps we believe again prosecution is asking the trier of fact to take some leaps forward and make some conclusions that are not supported by the evidence. And that’s what we saw some more of today,” said James Auricchio, defense attorney.
The case is being head by Judge Kenneth Case. There is no jury.
Two members of the Buffalo Police Department and an analyst with the Erie County Crime Analysis Center also took the stand Thursday.
The trial will take a brief recess, as testimony in the case is set to resume on Tuesday.