Johnson murder hearing rescheduled -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Johnson murder hearing rescheduled

Another hearing for Johnson in August, 2012 Another hearing for Johnson in August, 2012
The victim, Angela Sizemore The victim, Angela Sizemore
Johnson in a previous hearing Johnson in a previous hearing

A judge has allowed an evidence hearing in the death sentence of Ray Johnson to be rescheduled after his attorney said they were not prepared.

Georgia Resource Center Attorney Amy Vosburg-Casey told Judge William Lockette they were not prepared for a full evidentiary hearing, and asked for a new hearing date.

Johnson, 48, was also in the courtroom, bound in ankle and leg cuffs, wearing the red prison uniform of a violent offender. He is awaiting execution for the brutal murder of Angela Sizemore on March 24, 1994.

His execution was postponed in October 2011 so that new DNA tests of evidence that was not available in 1994 could be conducted.

MORE: Background on Angela Sizemore murder from Attorney General

Attorney Vosburg-Casey said years of testing raised what they believe are doubts in Johnson's guilt, and that absolute certainty is needed before a death sentence can be carried out.

But they were still not ready to bring in experts to present their findings.

Four members of Sizemore's family sat in the courtroom during the proceeding, while the 20th anniversary of the killing looms less than one month away.

Meanwhile District Attorney Greg Edwards said the defense has failed to discover any new evidence that warrants a new trial.

But Judge Lockette did rule that another hearing date would be set, to allow the Georgia Resource Center to bring in at least four experts to continue their appeal for a new trial.

District Attorney Edwards admitted that death penalty cases are long, but said he believes Johnson will be executed at the end.

No date was set for the next evidence hearing.

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