Grunwald murder suspect's mom arrested over subpoena
Alaska State Troopers have arrested the mother of murder suspect Dominic Johnson, after she failed to respond to a subpoena to testify.
Dominic is one of four people accused of murdering David Grunwald in November 2016; he is currently in the second week of his trial.
On Tuesday, Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak asked Judge Gregory Heath to issue a material witness warrant for Dominic's mother, Misty Johnson.
Kalytiak said the state served a subpoena to Misty on Nov. 26. Since then Kayltiak said the state has been unable to reach her by phone and said she no longer at her last known residence. He said the tried to have Misty's former boyfriend contact her and he was also unable to get a hold of her.
A material witness warrant means a person can be arrested and held in custody until that person testifies.
Court staff said it's very rare for a judge to issue a material witness warrant.
"She has important testimony regarding contact with the defendant soon after the murder, disposal of the hoodie and jeans that he wore," Kalytiak said.
Less than an hour later, Kalytiak reported troopers had picked up Misty. She arrived in court to speak with the judge, who appointed her a public defender.
Heath initially issued a $500 bail and said he didn't want to keep her in custody overnight. He told her to be in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
"If you're not here, I will have you arrested and you will not bail out," Heath told her. "I will put a high cash bail on you and I will keep you."
"I will be here. I have no reason not to be," Misty responded.
Misty testified in Erick Almandinger's trial in May. She said Dominic had been living with his grandmother.
Kalytiak asked her about a video she's seen about Dominic getting into a fight.
"He said, 'Yeah, I hit him hard," Misty said.
During the defense attorney's cross-examination, Misty read text messages between herself and her son just two days before Grunwald was murdered.
"This is a message you sent to Dominic on November 11 of 2016 at 5:54 p.m.," Almandinger's defense attorney Jon Iannaccone read.
"This is you to Dominic, 'No you won't. I'm not visiting you in jail, no one will. You sure turned out to be quite a piece of shit. I'm going to throw a party when your ass goes to jail, a fucking party. Say hi to your dad while you're in there.'"
"I was upset," Misty explained.
"Dominic sent a text back to you that said, 'Goodbye,'" Iannaccone read.
"Then again, you said to Dominic, 'If you come on this property I will have you arrested for trespassing as well. So please try it I have something for you and your punk ass friends,'" Iannaccone read.
"When I say he was not homeless, he was staying with my mother. He's always had a home," Misty said.
"You sent another message to Dominic. 'Oh sorry, I forgot a lying, theiving 16-year-old punk is such a great person, lamfao. Wow, stupid too. Yep, you're just like your daddy.'" Iannaccone continued.
"Dominic sent to you,'Loser, such a loser. Hmm. Maybe one day you will get a life, doubt it though. Gotta go, bye bye see you never,'" he went on.
State prosecutors expect Misty to have similar testimony in this trial.
Kalytiak also asked for a material witness warrant for a juvenile who testified in Almandinger's trial. In May, the girl testified the group of suspects came to her house to party after they allegedly killed Grunwald.
Because the witness is underage, KTVA cannot disclose her name.
Kalytiak said they served the teen a subpoena on Monday to be in court on Tuesday. He said she told them she would not testify in this trial.
"She basically said she didn't care about Erick but is friends with Dominic Johnson and didn't want to testify," Kalytiak said to the judge.
Heath also issued a material witness warrant for the juvenile.
The trial resumes on Wednesday morning.
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