Wife, son of Uptown shooting victim read emotional statements in - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Wife, son of Uptown shooting victim read emotional statements in court

Victim's son forgives; gunman remains silent. (FOX 8 Photo) Victim's son forgives; gunman remains silent. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The family of a New Orleans lawyer who was shot and left paralyzed in a Garden District robbery got a chance to speak to the convicted gunman Tuesday.

The victim, Sandy Kaynor, sat incapacitated as he watched his wife and young son make their statements.

Friends and relatives also watched, often weeping, as Kaynor's family spoke out about the crime that occurred in October 2012.

"It's just hard to believe that someone can do this unbelievable thing," said Sybil Favrot, the godmother of Kaynor's wife, Grace.

Sandy Kaynor was left paralyzed after being shot during a robbery at his family's Camp Street home. His wife read from her statement, often looking at  23- year-old Byron Johnson, who pleaded guilty to the shooting. She said her husband wanted to help rebuild the city after Katrina, even though he's from Connecticutt. 

'The night Sandy was shot, I found him lying in the driveway. I told him everything would be alright. He said it would never be alright, I can't feel my legs,” Grace Kaynor said.

"It was very difficult, but she's a strong person and I knew she could do it," said Grace Kaynor's mother,  Anne Williams.

Next, Kaynor's 17-year old son, Granville, testified.

“'My father could do almost everything,” Granville said. “Never did I meet someone more talented. He played guitar with me almost every night and played tennis every time I asked.”

"He's a very strong young man, independent, and loves his family, and he's going to be alright,” Williams said of her grandson.

Sandy Kaynor sat motionless in his wheelchair as his family described their agony over the past three years.

In an unusual move, the impact statements came the day after Johnson pleaded guilty to attempted murder, armed robbery and carjacking charges. He received a 45-year sentence.

"This was a very horrible crime, and these victims will suffer for the rest of their lives," said Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.

In wrapping up his statement, Granville Kaynor looked at Johnson.

“I forgive you and hope you take these next 45 years to reflect on how you changed our lives,” he said.

"What impressed me most was my grandson saying 'I forgive you, for what you've done,’" said Williams.

Two other co-defendants, 21-year-old Devante Billy and 19-year-old Charles Carter, are also awaiting trial for their alleged roles. They are all alleged members of the Marley gang.

"We have found other groups of individuals who have surfaced, and they are picking up where their predecessor older gang members left off," Cannizzaro said.

For the Kaynor family, that means more trials to come before the end of this year.

Byron Johnson chose to say nothing to the family before being led away in shackles.

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