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Not guilty verdict for twin

From The Times Tribune

Antonio Johnson - LCDC

Following a day-and-a-half trial, a London man accused of killing his twin brother in April 2016 was found not guilty Tuesday evening January 8, 2019.

The jury delivered the verdict to Judge Greg Lay at approximately 4:15 p.m. in Laurel Circuit Court after an hour-and-a-half of deliberations, finding Antonio Johnson, 33, not guilty of murder.

Johnson was arrested in connection to the death of his brother, Anthony Johnson, following an investigation by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department.

Antonio Johnson called 911 after finding his brother in a back bedroom of the residence the two shared. It was later determined that Anthony Johnson had died due to severe head trauma believed to be caused from multiple strikes with a hammer, which was located at the scene.

During the trial, jurors heard testimony from a number of witnesses, including Antonio Johnson.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, who acted as prosecutor in the case, said Wednesday that he was upset with the verdict, though he commended jurors for their service.

“Obviously, we were disappointed with the outcome, but at the same time we respect the jury’s decision and we respect the process. Though we were disappointed, we do appreciate their service and their commitment to their civil duties as jurors,” said Steele.

Steele also said that with the trial now being over and a not guilty verdict being delivered, the case is over. His office will not seek prosecution against anyone else in Anthony Johnson’s death.

Jail records show Antonio Johnson was released from custody shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. If he had been convicted of his charges, he could have faced 20 to 50 years or up to life in prison.

Two previous trial dates were continued in the case, with the first coming in July 2018 as evidentiary items necessary for the case to move forward remained in the possession of the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab for extensive testing. By the time the items had been returned to defense attorneys and prosecutors, there was not enough time for an independent analysis by Antonio Johnson’s attorney, Jennifer Perkins, prompting a continuance.

The second trial date was set after negotiations between Perkins and prosecutors broke down, with any type of plea agreement failing to be reached. However, that trial, scheduled for November 2018, was continued at the request of prosecutors due to “unforeseen circumstances” leading up to the trial date.

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