Sunday, July 01, 2007

Nifonged in Wilson: James Johnson's Not So Speedy Trial

On the eve of the third anniversary of the arrest of James Johnson, the News & Observer turns its attention to the apparent nifonging of the twenty-one year old Wilson, North Carolina man who has been jailed since July 2, 2004 on charges that he abducted, robbed, raped, and murdered Brittany Tyler Willis. Held on an impossible $1,000,000.00 bond at the Wilson County Detention Center, Mr. Johnson awaits a trial scheduled for July 23, three years after helping police identify the actual perpetrator of the crime, and despite an absence of physical evidence connecting him to the crime; polygraph testing and DNA evidence that appear to confirm his actual innocence; and an admission from Kenneth Meeks, the convicted author of the crime who confessed to acting alone.
Initially suspected because he “knew too much” about the crime, Johnson was implicated by the convicted killer after police informed him that it was Johnson who turned him in. In addition to the recanted statement from Meeks, who admitted that he falsely implicated Johnson as retribution for his arrest, the only other evidence against Johnson, until recently, had been the disallowed statements of a deceased woman who claimed to have witnessed two men kidnapping the victim two hours before the crime occurred and at a time when Johnson was proven to have been elsewhere. In the spirit of Mike Nifong and Linwood Wilson, prosecutors have recently produced two new eyewitnesses, one of whom is a retired Wilson police officer, as the trial approaches.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tracy Cline and Jim Hardin would be proud of this prosecution.