Johnson’s murder trial pushed to November
Murder suspect Dominic Johnson’s trial has been pushed back to November.
Johnson is one of four people accused of shooting and killing 16-year-old David Gruwwald in November 2016.
Last week, a jury convicted co-defendant Erick Almandinger on nine counts, including first- and second-degree murder and kidnapping.
On Monday, Judge Gregory Heath rescheduled Johnson’s trial to give attorneys more time to prepare. Originally, the trial was set to begin at the end of September.
“Going through the first trial of the co-defendant and the number of witnesses, I don’t believe that’s enough time to get everything together,” Judge Heath said.
That allows Johnson’s attorney, Lyle Stohler, time to get transcripts from Almandinger’s trial.
There will be an evidentiary hearing on August 14 and 15 to discuss several motions Stohler filed, including a motion to limit the state from using crime scene and autopsy pictures and a motion to suppress the seizure of cell phones and statements.
Stohler also filed a change of venue motion.
To ensure a fair trial, Judge Heath added an extra panel of jurors for the selection process so the attorneys will have a pool of 240 people to chose from.
“There’s even been more publicity as the parties know,” Judge Heath said.
Jury selection will begin with questionnaires on October 23.
Opening statements and the presentation of evidence is expected to begin November 5. The trial should conclude before Thanksgiving.
Johnson will be back in court on July 24 for a status hearing.
Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Heather Hintze.
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