Johnson trial pushed back - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Johnson trial pushed back

July 17, 2003

(Tifton, Ga.) -- A marijuana possession case against Green Bay Packers defensive end Joe Johnson was continued today to give his attorney an opportunity to file motions.

A hearing had been scheduled so the 10-year NFL veteran could file motions and request a jury or bench trial, but Tift County solicitor Bob Richborg told Newscenter 10 that a new trial has been rescheduled for October 23rd. Richborg said the state was still awaiting the results of a crime lab test on the marijuana.

Johnson waived his right to an arraignment hearing and pleaded innocent in June. Police say Johnson was charged with marijuana possession after a deputy saw his car stopped in a highway turning lane May 22.

 Authorities say he posted a one-thousand-625-dollar cash bond and was released from the Tift County Jail the same day. But the 30-year-old Johnson of Saint Louis, denies being arrested. He acknowledged being "in the area" that day, but suggested someone else was driving his car.

Deputy David Hardy says he saw Johnson's silver Mercedes stopped on the road with hazard lights flashing. As he approached the car, Johnson got out and told the deputy he needed directions to Tallahassee, Florida.

 Hardy says he smelled marijuana smoke, searched the vehicle and found a misdemeanor amount of marijuana. Johnson signed with the Packers in March 2002 as an unrestricted free agent. He played in just five games last season after being injured in a game against the Chicago Bears.

He missed Green Bay's minicamp last month after having triceps surgery. Packers spokesman Lee Remmel has said the team is aware of the report from south Georgia, but has no other comment.

Posted by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com