Murder suspect claims he's innocent of murder, sex consensual
A Hawaii murder suspect made a racy defense in court Monday.
Gerald Austin took the stand trying to convince jurors he is not a cold blooded killer, and did not murder an 81-year-old Edith Skinner. Austin says the reason his DNA was found inside the Oahu woman in 1989 is simple. The two had consensual sex after a chance encounter.
"While I was waiting for the elevator I got into a conversation with this woman," said Austin.
Skinner's family and friends said she kept to herself and was wary of strangers, but Austin recounts something different. He says he had a lengthy conversation with Skinner in the lobby. He even added that the following week when he ran into her at the building's entrance, Skinner was very forward.
"We talked for a considerable amount of time and she asked me if I wanted to come up to her apartment," said Austin.
When they went up to Skinner's apartment, Austin says it didn't take long before things turned sexual.
"One thing led to another and we ended up having sex," said Austin.
Austin claims he was in Skinner's apartment for an hour of conversation and sex, and then left. He says he never saw her face again until police showed him a picture of her two years ago during their re-opened murder investigation.
"When they showed me a picture of her and told me her name it didn't ring a bell to me after all those years," said Austin.
On the stand Austin couldn't recall many of the details of their conversations, Skinner's apartment number or even if the 81-year-old was elderly.
"I can't, I can't precisely make out her features twenty years ago, I can't remember exactly," said Austin.
Police believe the encounter between the two ended in murder, while the defendant claims it was just a random hookup that happened to take place just before Skinner was killed.
Closing arguments in Austin's murder trial will take place Tuesday afternoon.
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