Fingerprint evidence heard in Johnson trial Thursday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fingerprint evidence heard in Johnson trial Thursday

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Jurors got a look at fingerprint evidence Thursday in the trial of an Albany man accused of the brutal stabbing death of of a Lee County woman.

Prosecutors say the evidence proves Craig Johnson was at Nicole Judge's home. Johnson doesn't deny he stabbed Judge, but his defense claims it was in self defense.

The jury watched a videotape of Craig Johnson's statement to the GBI. This has been an emotional case, and family members on both sides were warned to remain calm as they listened to what Johnson told agents.

Prosecutors focused on fingerprints Craig Johnson left in Nicole Judge's apartment. An expert from the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office explained how prints were lifted from a child's toy in Judge's Winding Way apartment where she was stabbed nearly 50 times.

"This particular print, because it's such good quality and has great clarity, we were actually able to put this under a scanner under the AFIS system and we were able to scan the image in there and enter it in the system to conduct a fingerprint search," said Sgt. Kathy Parr of the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

Parr said she verified the print was Johnson's. She also showed the jury another comparison of prints found on Judge's closet doors.

"We actually compared this print at the Lee County Sheriff's Office with the know print on the card, next to the print that was actually displayed on the door."

Defense Attorney Nikki Bonner questioned whether other prints were found in the home, but before Parr could say whose prints were found a side bar was called.

"There were two additional people that were identified from prints at the scene, one of those was a Rodney,"  Parr said.

Sgt. Parr admitted investigators could not confirm whether Johnson's fingerprints were on the knives used to kill Judge.

"You might see one or two little lines or you know just a tiny piece of a fingerprint or a palm print but there wasn't enough there to make an identification to anyone."

Agents testified that several bloody knives were found inside the apartment include one still stuck in Judge's neck.

The Prosecution expected to continue to present testimony Friday called the medical examiner and other crime lab officials before resting their case.

Judge George Peagler has said he would consider holding court on Saturday if testimony in the case didn't progress.

The defense is expected to call Craig Johnson to the stand when they get their turn to present evidence.

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