Medical examiner to testify Thursday in Jackson murder case
The family of Eugene Roberts came to court Wednesday, certain that Charles Johnson was facing the right charge: murder for the shooting death of 22-year-old Roberts on Culbertson Avenue on February 15. But Roberts' family members told 3 On Your Side Wednesday that Assistant District Attorney Tom Kessler had pulled them aside to say they were considering reducing the murder charge to manslaughter, because a key witness had not shown up to testify.
"The medical examiner. He has not shown up. I feel and the family feels that (the DA's office) is not putting forth an effort to try to find this guy," says Roberts' cousin, Cornelius Williams.
We've since learned that medical examiner has been located, and is expected to testify Thursday morning. The charges against Johnson are murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and armed robbery.
Baraka Buckley testified that she was an acquaintance of Roberts, and he was sitting in her car on February 15 when the defendant approached. The conversation between Williams and Johnson became heated. Buckley demonstrated how she says Johnson pulled out a gun and fired. Buckley ran, and heard a second shot.
Prosecutors say Johnson left the scene in a Suburban, then carjacked a Fed-Ex truck.
3 On Your Side obtained pictures of Johnson after he was brutally beaten while incarcerated in the Hinds County jail earlier this year. Nine deputies were fired in that incident.
Johnson appears in better health today. He's represented by Attorney Dennis Sweet.
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