SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A man currently serving time on drug charges has now been charged in connection to the shooting death of a Schenectady man.
Troy Saunders, of Schenectady, is accused of killing Wayne Best, Jr. near his home in December 2014.
Saunders was brought to Schenectady County Court on Friday from Great Meadow Correctional Facility where he’s currently serving a 4.5-year prison sentence on drugs charges. The 31-year-old was charged with Murder in the First Degree and Murder in the Second Degree.
He pleaded not guilty.
Police said Best Jr. was shot and killed near his home on Parkwood Avenue. Chris Johnson and Todd Macon have already been charged with Murder in the Second Degree in the case.
Court documents tell a scary story about the day Wayne Best Jr. was murdered. The DA said Best was contacted by the men accused of killing him and then they followed him and killed him. Friday, Best Jr’s mother spoke for the first time since she was rescued from a fire at her home last week. Many are wondering if it’s all connected.
“I really don’t remember much except waking up and realizing something was wrong and then trying to get out and not being able to get out,” said Karen Kirsch.
Karen Kirsch,Wayne Best Jr.’s mother, just got released from the Westchester Medical Center burn unit after she suffered an injury to her throat when her home went up in flames early Friday morning.
The fire occurred at Best Jr.’s home on March 4
“Then two wonderful men came and got me out,” said Kirsch.
Those two men she described were firefighters. The fire happened at the same home her 25-year-old son Wayne Best Jr. was murdered.
Friday Kirsch showed up at court to look at 31-year-old Troy Saunders in the face.
Court documents said Saunders had a loaded fire arm along with Todd Macon. Chris Johnson is accused of calling and texting Wayne Best Jr. to see where he was and then allegedly drove to multiple locations where Best Jr. said he would be.
The Da said Saunders followed Best. Jr. to his home and that’s when the group allegedly robbed and killed him. Kirsch didn’t want to discuss the case and she is still shaken up from the fire that investigators said is suspicious.
“At that point at the end like I said I kind of just sunk to the ground because I really couldn’t breathe anymore. I wasn’t afraid. I thought I was going to go see Wayne so I was a little bit at peace really. My dog was sitting next to me,” said Kirsch.
The Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office said all three men played a role in the murder. ADA Christina Tremante said Saunders pulled the trigger.
“He’s charged with Murder in the First Degree, which means that during the course of a robbery, or attempted robbery in this case, he intentionally killed Wayne Best,” she said.
Investigators believe the fire is suspicious, and the case is ongoing.