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Special Prosecutor Denies Comments on James Johnson Case

Posted January 2, 2008

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— The Forsyth County prosecutor appointed to re-examine evidence in a 2004 Wilson murder case says any comments attributed to her on James Johnson's possible sentence are false.

In a news release issued Wednesday, Belinda Foster said "any reports of alleged comments attributed to her regarding any sentence which might be imposed" against Johnson "are false and that no such comments were made by her."

In a Dec. 29 letter to the editor to The Wilson Daily Times, Brittany Willis' family said the case has become more about race and political motives than seeking justice for the victim.

The letter criticized Foster, who was appointed to look at the case, saying she told the Willis family that Johnson "was definitely involved more than he admits" and that she told the family "the charges were correct," that "enough evidence was present and the case would be pursued."

Foster said professional rules of conduct prohibit such comments and further comments about the case.

Johnson, 21, is charged with accessory after the fact in Willis' death. She was raped and shot and left in a field in June 2004.

Johnson was held in the Wilson County jail for more than two years while waiting trial. He was allowed a $1 million secured bond after prosecutors stopped seeking the death penalty in December 2006. Bond was reduced in September to $60,000 when Foster was appointed to the case.

Johnson has denied being involved in Willis' death but has admitted to helping clean evidence while under duress. He went to police three days later.

Foster was appointed to look at the case in September after the Wilson County District Attorney's Office turned the case over amid a high-profile campaign by the North Carolina conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to dismiss the case against Johnson.

The group maintains Johnson's innocence and has said he should be treated as a witness who helped investigators solve the crime.

Last month, the NAACP also criticized Foster for her handling of the case. Through her office, Foster has said that neither the NAACP's public statements nor other public comments were a factor in her decision to reduce the charges against Johnson.

38 Comments

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  • ctechic2004 Jan 4, 2008

    If I remember correctly, there was no physical evidence nor was there any DNA evidence that linked Johnson to the murder. Yes, he is guilty of destroying evidence and withholding evidence. And did he not pass the polygraph test-which is not admissable(sp) in court. I guess it would be correct to assume that every crime that some of you have witnessed have been reported to the proper authority-whether it was someone running a red light, stealing, jaywalking or loitering. And not those crimes are not as heinous as a murder, but the same concept is applied. A crime is a crime no matter how insignificant it appears to be. Some you are saying "lets it go to trial and see how it plays out" but yet. some of you are condemning him for what you think you know. Some of you are criticizing the NAACP for what you say are racial motives, but aren't some of you condeming this young man with the same motives?

  • wilson88 Jan 3, 2008

    I hope to see everyone at the Wilson County courthouse bright and early tomorrow morning at 8:30 is you need specifics contact me at bmforbes@peace.edu. Thanks!

  • syracuseinwonderland Jan 3, 2008

    "Now that the charges have been dropped to what they should of been from the start,.." eksodystech1

    You sound so sure of this, were you there? If not, please elaborate.

  • twc Jan 3, 2008

    Is no one listening? The charges are not what they should have been from the beginning!!!! He should be charged with murder and a judge and jury needs to hear from witnesses and be presented whatever evidence there is! I can't believe a jury would accept the word of his accomplice that he did it by himself. That whole scenario is SO unbelievable! Let a jury decide!! Not a DA!! She is an attorney--not a crime investigator!! She had no business circumventing the judicial process!! Let the people who are professional investigators present their evidence!!!!!!!! To a jury!!!!!

  • justbnme Jan 3, 2008

    I'm delighted to see all the support for Brittany!
    He's guilty, guilty, guilty!!! Take that NAACP!
    He's a punk boy. Golo Editor???

  • Panther Jan 3, 2008

    James Johnson will end up being his own worse enemy. Given time he will be back in jail for another heinous crime. As dear ol pop use to say “every dog has its day, shut up and eat your Friskies!” His day is coming soon enough.

  • Scrubatwilmed Jan 3, 2008

    Attention!Attention!!Sorry about the short notice. We need your support.James Johnson will be in court on Friday Jan. 4th for a hearing on probable cause,We feel that we need to let the public know that we have support and concern from people on how this case has been handled and where it is going from here.On
    Friday at 8:30 at the court house please try to be with us to show our disappointment with the recent events.No speaking,no signs just SUPPORT for BRITTANY.Your support,emails,phone calls,cards have been over whelming and we thank you for all your love and kind words.Hope to see you Friday.

    Judy and Randy Please feel free to forward

  • G-Dawg Jan 3, 2008

    Funny how all the golo NAACP lovers aren't responding on this one.

  • eksodystech1 Jan 3, 2008

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. People need to move on and watch over their children so nothing like this happens again. Let it play out in the courts because all this back and forth in the media solves nothing. Both sides of the investigation has faults. Now that the charges have been dropped to what they should of been from the start, the naacp and all other outside sources need to move aside. The naacp are there for publicity and monetary gains. The charges have been reduced. So sitdown and shut up and let the courts whether it be local state or federal handle it.

  • twc Jan 3, 2008

    He should be charged with murder!! If I was on the jury there is no way I'm going to believe that meeks acted alone and then left the scene, picked up a witness and brought him back to the scene. NO WAY!! I believe meeks and johnson were there from the parking lot to the end of the crime! Then they went to deans asking him to help them set up an alibi!!

    Put yourself in meeks' shoes for one lowly moment! After committing a crime that could get you the death penalty would you be stupid enough to bring in a witness?

    As far as the polygraph, let the FBI administer the polygraph! This whole case needs to be turned over to the FBI. There have been too many meddlers in this for it to end fairly!

    JUSTICE FOR BRITTANY!!!!

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