A boy, now 11, was the first witness to testify Monday in the trial of a man accused of holding him hostage for 30 hours this past January.
Donald Gazaway, 32, is charged with charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and having weapons under disability in connection with the incident that began Jan. 12 at the Springs of Liberty Township apartment complex.
The boy said he, his mother and his dog were home that night. He had ear buds in, but he testified that he heard a conversation between his mother and Gazaway.
“I heard him yelling, ‘Give me $10,000,’ ” the boy said, just minutes after standing up from the witness box and identifying Gazaway at the defense table.
The boy said Gazaway had a gun while yelling at his mother. When his mother ran out, Gazaway took him first to his closet, then to his mother’s closet.
“I was afraid he was going to shoot me,” said the boy, who added that Gazaway shot several guns he had in a backpack, including an AK-47, at police while inside the apartment.
Gazaway carried the boy around the apartment on his back with a coat over him. Eventually Gazaway took him to the garage where they sat in a car.
The boy said police threw in phones to talk with them, but Gazaway told him not to touch it because it could electrocute him.
“I was very scared,” the boy said.
Defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III told the jury in opening statements that his client did not knowingly shoot at police and “did not shoot or wound anybody.”
Hawkins also said Gazaway was let into the residence
“There was no evidence he kicked in the door or anything like that,” Hawkins said.
According to Butler County Sheriff’s detectives, about 25 bullet casings were removed from the scene.
When taken into custody, three guns were found with Gazaway as well as live rounds, according to detectives.
The child was not physically injured, according to the sheriff’s office, though officers said they saw Gazaway use the boy as a human shield. That, they said, prevented them from making any movement toward the residence.
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