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Loved Ones Continue To Wait For Johnson Verdict

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Parts of a murder trial can be emotional, but for the most part, a trial is about the law.

Waiting for a jury to come back with a verdict, however, is about everything but the law -- it is about the toll that tragedy takes on everyone whose lives are touched by it.

The tension is palpable in the courtroom where Timothy Johnson is on trial for the shooting deaths of two men during a North Carolina State tailgating party.

Family and friends connected to the case pass the time by reading, visiting with each other and looking at pictures. Thursday marks the third day of the jury's deliberations.

The victims, 2nd Lt. Brett Harman and Kevin McCann, both 23, were born eight days apart. They grew up together as best friends outside Chicago. Both were wrestlers from a young age.

Family members of the defendant, 23-year-old Timothy Johnson, of Tarboro, have been mostly silent -- waiting in their own quiet misery to find out about the fate of their loved ones. Johnson's brother, Tony, is also in jail, awaiting his own trial for the killings in October.

Patsy Simpkins, a longtime family friend, says Johnson has expressed to her in letters that he does feel remorse for the victims' families.

"No one prayed for that family -- for both of those families -- more than Timothy Johnson," Simpkins said. "And next to Timothy Johnson, Ann and Thomas Johnson and the rest of their family, I just want everyone to know that they are hurting and they are suffering also."


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