Updated: 05/19/2014 11:08 PM
Created: 05/19/2014 6:14 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
A 22-year-old man is on trial for murder in Douglas County after investigators said he shot and killed a Superior man in January of 2012.
Tiawain Johnson faces a felony, first-degree intentional homicide charge. Police said he shot Toriano Cooper and left the area for Chicago. Police said Cooper robbed Johnson before the shooting.
After hours of jury selection, nine women and four men were finally chosen as jurors. Johnson's attorney Aaron Nelson wanted to make sure a bias decision was not made based on race. He pointed out that Johnson was the only black man in the courtroom.
Opening statements got underway late Monday afternoon. That's when both the prosecution and defense summarize and introduce their case.
District Attorney Dan Blank called the case straightforward. He said Johnson admitted to the shooting to several people.
Nelson said those witnesses are not innocent and may be benefiting from plea deals.
"He's relying on the words of these three people, two of which he calls in his own letters to them, Chicago gangsters," Nelson said.
Blank also admitted many of the witnesses have criminal records.
"Everyone is going to have baggage with their testimony," Blank said. "They are all convicted criminals; they come from jails and prisons. Some have plea bargains, some don't. You're going to listen to their evidence...and you're going to sort out what makes sense and what doesn't."
Blank said the victim was also involved with drugs.
The murder trial is expected to take several days and many witnesses will be called to the stand.
People who knew the victim were at Monday's trial, but did not want to comment until a final decision is made.
Minn. DNR Increases Target Wolf Harvest
The Minnesota DNR is increasing the target harvest for this fall's wolf hunt from 250 to 280. The DNR says the latest population survey estimates that there were 2,423 wolves living in Minnesota this past winter, which is 212 more animals than estimated the previous winter.
Update: Teen Killed in Douglas Co. Crash
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says a Lake Nebagamon teenager was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday afternoon. 15-year-old Seth N. Stariah, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene.
U of M Reaches Milestone with Ash River Neutrino Detector
The University of Minnesota is celebrating a milestone in creating an experimental particle detector that it says could eventually yield important information about the beginning of the universe.
Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.
Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard
Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.