Two men charged with kidnapping witness in murder trial

Jan 9, 2019

Charges have been filed against two men accused of kidnapping a witness to prevent him from testifying in a murder trial.

Leonnes "Man-Man" Davis, 20, and Lashard "Shar" Kyser, 41, faces multiple counts of kidnapping, intimidating a witness and tampering with a witness. Prosecutors allege the defendants lured the victim to a home on Quincy Street in Buffalo, trapped him, then beat and restrained him.

Leonnes Davis
Credit Erie County District Attorney's Office

The witness was then allegedly forced into a vehicle and driven to Richmond, Virginia, where he was left at a bus stop. He was located safely about a week after he failed to appear to testify in the trial of Tevon McCutcheon.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says the timing of the alleged kidnapping was not coincidental.

"He was supposed to testify on December 13 and he was taken on December 12," Flynn said.

McCutcheon's trial was adjourned until the witness was brought back to Western New York. He was subsequently found guilty of murder and faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Lashard Kyser

Flynn says the witness testified the day he returned, but has expresssed concern for his safety. Security measures have been put in place to protect him.

"Unfortunately witness intimidation does happen. It happens too often. This was taken to a whole nother level, though, of actually kidnapping a person and then driving them down to Virignia," Flynn said. "This is a very serious matter and will be taken very seriously by this office."

The two defendants were arraigned in State Supreme Court this week. Both have been remanded. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

WBFO's Nick Lippa contributed to this report.