Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Justice for James Johnson

In Wilson, NC, we have another case of an out of control DA office. On June 28,2004, an 18 year old high school soccer star was abducted at gunpoint while shopping. Brittany Willis was raped and murdered by a two-bit thug Kenneth Meeks. However, three suspects were arrested. One of the suspects, James Johnson is currently still in jail after nearly 3 years. He is currently under $1 million dollars bond.

Mr Johnson is awaiting trial. His hearing date is July 23. Mr Johnson helped the police by turning in his "friend", Kenneth Meeks. Initially, Meeks fingered James Johnson as an accompliance. Later, Meeks recanted his accusation and confessed to being the sole person responsible for the murder. Meeks even admitted he implicated Johnson to get back at Johnson for turning him in. Johnson knew about the crime because Meeks told him about it while riding around in Ms Willis stolen SUV. Meeks showed Johnson the weapon and the site where Ms Willis' body was hidden. Despite the lack of any evidence linking Johnson to the murder, and a confession by the rapist/murderer, Mr Johnson remains in jail under a million dollar bond.

The prosecutors are going forward anyway. The only things that they have is a shaky eyewitness account from a now deceased elderly woman which doesn't match the time frame of the crime and Meeks' initial accusation which has been recanted. The state NAACP recently held a rally for Mr Johnson. Usually I don't agree with the NAACP, but in this case their protests are warranted. I will continue to follow this case, I hope to talk to Johnson's lawyer and a UNC law professor who has been following the case. I would like to thank Liestoppers for his thorough coverage of this issue.


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