Drunk Driver Indicted on Felony Charges for Killing Passenger in Cheektowaga Crash

Modified: July 28, 2021 2:20pm

7/28/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 21-year-old Mkaipa M. Muya of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge Susan Maxwell Barnes on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:

  • One count of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (Class “B” felony)
  • One count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree (Class “C” felony)
  • One count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony)

It is alleged that on Monday, February 22, 2021, at approximately 4:00 a.m., the defendant was driving at a high-rate of speed while under the influence of alcohol when he crashed into a utility pole and a building on Walden Avenue near Hoerner Avenue in the Town of Cheektowaga.

A 30-year-old male, who was sitting the front passenger seat, was taken to ECMC with minor injuries. His back-seat passenger, 17-year-old Leena Velez of Buffalo, was ejected from the vehicle upon impact and died from her injuries. The defendant did not suffer any injuries.

Muya is scheduled to return on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. for motions.

The defendant remains released under supervision on a previously posted $50,000.00 bond.

If convicted of all charges, Muya faces a maximum of 25 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Paul C. Glascott of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.