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CHICAGO -- Moments after he allegedly opened fire on Chicago Police Det. Robert Soto and the policeman's companion, Kathryn Romberg, Jason Austin drove away in a maroon Buick Regal, investigators say.
But on Monday, Austin's lead attorney said two auto mechanics are prepared to testify in court that Austin's car was inside a repair shop the day before the shootings and was still there the morning after.
"Their theory is that my client was in a car that they have impounded, that they are checking for fingerprints, DNA and gunshot residue," said Austin's attorney, David Wiener. "That car was not only not available to my client, but it was broken down and not available to anyone on the day of the shooting."
Wiener showed the Chicago Sun-Times statements that he says his own investigator took from mechanics at GLR Auto Repair on the West Side, where Austin had his car repaired earlier this month.
In their statements, both the owner of GLR Auto Repair and an employee there told Wiener's investigator that the car was in the shop Aug. 12 and was still there the next day -- several hours after the shootings.
The owner "states he keeps the building and parking lot locked with gates and chains," wrote Stephen Glazier, Wiener's private investigator.
Gustavo Granados, GLR's owner, refused to talk to a reporter Monday, citing his attorney's advice.
Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the case involves more than what type of car was used in the shooting.
Police say Austin, driving a maroon Buick Regal, pulled up behind Soto's SUV in the early morning hours of Aug. 13 in the 3000 block of West Franklin. Investigators say Austin then pulled a gun on Soto and Romberg, who was in the passenger seat, and fired four shots during a robbery. Video surveillance shows what police believe was Austin's car in the area before and after the shooting, police say. Witnesses include two people who were in Austin's car and saw him point the gun and demand money, prosecutors say. Four other witnesses heard the shots and saw Austin's car go by, prosecutors say. Those witnesses knew Austin and saw him driving, prosecutors say.
Wiener refused to comment on the prosecution's witnesses.
"We'll deal with that at a later time," he said.
He said he is "absolutely convinced [Austin] had nothing to do with this killing."
Wiener said: "This is a case where they found my guy a couple of days later -- with a maroon car -- and put two and two together."