YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Jurors Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court watched videos prosecutors say portray the man accused of a fatal shooting at a South Avenue gas station.
Prosecutors played videos from a security camera at a home near the Shell station at South and Samuel avenues where Keimone Black, 29, was shot and killed at about 3 a.m. June 15 as an SUV he was in was parked at a gas pump.
Charged with aggravated murder in his death is 69-year-old Samuel Byrd. Testimony began Tuesday after jurors were selected Monday. Visiting Judge Thomas Pokorny is hearing the case.
Byrd, of Washington, D.C., had served time in prison for a 1981 murder there. So far, neither police nor prosecutors will comment or speak on a motive for the shooting.
Detective Sgt. Michael Cox, who was asked to assist detectives with video from both the crime scene and other areas around the gas station, walked jurors through three separate videos taken from a security camera at a home on Dickson Street, which is right next to the gas station.
Two of the three videos show a car pulling into a drive and shutting off the headlights before a man gets out of the passenger’s side door. He walks away from the car toward the gas station. A few moments later, the car backs out of the drive, still with no headlights on, before parking further up the street.
A few moments after that, a different man sprints up the street, past the camera and the car, and just after that, a man wearing the same dark clothing as the man who got out of the car calmly walks up the sidewalk to the car, gets in, and the car backs up, still with no headlights on.
The third video is a shot from the front of the house, which shows the man who got out of the car in the other videos walking on the sidewalk to the gas station and a few moments later heading back up the street, again on the sidewalk.
In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors said they believe Byrd got out of a car on Dickson Street, walked to the gas station, shot Black, then came back. A few hours after the shooting, detectives found a fresh cigarette on the pavement where the car was parked and had it tested for DNA. The DNA on the cigarette matched Byrd, prosecutors said.
Another officer, Detective Sgt. Chris Staley, testified about the arrest of Byrd on June 17 at the Boardman Inn. Staley, who is in charge of the Neighborhood Response Unit, told jurors he was on duty that day, working a special patrol, when detectives asked him to go to the Boardman Inn on Market Street and keep an eye on Byrd, who was supposed to be there.
Detectives were in the process of getting a search warrant to search Byrd’s room, and while Staley was on the way, Detective Sgt. Cox, who was in the office at the hotel checking out the same tip, could see on video that Byrd was getting into a taxi.
Staley and other officers didn’t wait but surrounded the taxi and took Byrd into custody there.
Under cross-examination, Staley said he did not see any suitcases or piles of clothes or anything else that might have shown that Byrd was fleeing. Cox also said when he was cross-examined that he did not see any suitcases or clothes.
Cox was asked by defense attorneys if he knew Byrd was going to a house on Parkcliffe Avenue in the taxi, but Cox said he did not know that.