Buffalo man guilty of killing Grape Street grandmother and toddler

Feb 18, 2020

A judge has found a Buffalo man guilty of two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of a 54-year-old woman and her toddler grandson.

Kenyatta Austin was found guilty by Judge Kenneth Case in a non-jury trial Tuesday in Erie County Court.

Austin was charged with killing Yvette Johnson and 17-month-old Kyrie Johnson in July 2018. They were shot outside a Grape Street home after their family had just celebrated the woman's birthday at a nearby park.

Austin was also convicted of assault for wounding two men in the shooting. The Erie County District Attorney's Office said they were treated at Erie County Medical Center for gunshot wounds to the legs.

"The murder of Yvette Johnson and her littel grandson is one of the most horrific cases that has been prosecuted by the Homicide Bureau," said DA John Flynn. "All homicides are tragic, but this was a particularly senseless act of violence that ended the lives of two innocent bystanders and injured two other people. The crime affected not only the Fruit Belt, but the entire community of Buffalo."

Flynn also acknowledged those who came forward with information on the crime.

Austin faces a minimum of 64 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on March 23.