ST. LOUIS – The fate of convicted murderer Lamar Johnson is in the hands of a judge.
Johnson was convicted in 1995 for killing Marcus Boyd. He has maintained his innocence. Tuesday afternoon, a judge is expected to rule whether Johnson should go free.
There are a lot of legal steps that have brought his case to this point. Johnson was sentenced to life in prison after his conviction. While maintaining his innocence for nearly 30 years, he’s filed multiple appeals since his sentence.
The case started getting national attention after the Circuit Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit published a report in 2019 outlining the claims for Johnson’s innocence. The only person to identify him as the murderer recanted his testimony. Two other men have also come forward admitting to Boyd’s murder.
Back in December, the lead detective in the case testified there was no physical evidence that connects Johnson to the crime.
There are a lot of people standing behind Johnson, including St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. However, the then Attorney General Eric Schmitt argued at the time Johnson was rightfully convicted – and he should remain in prison.
Schmitt accused Gardner of concealing evidence.
On Tuesday, Judge David Mason is expected to decide whether to exonerate Johnson, nearly two months after we heard Johnson testify in a courtroom. Here’s what was said.
Mason: “When you were arrested, did police read you your rights?”
Johnson: “They did not read us those rights. I said that man is my friend and I did not shoot him. Police took me to the line-up and I said yes, I agreed. I know I did not kill anyone, and no one should have been able to identify me.”
The judge is expected to rule on Johnson’s conviction at 1:30 p.m.