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Jury Finds Defendant Not Guilty of Superior Murder

Updated: 05/23/2014 10:38 PM
Created: 05/23/2014 10:08 PM WDIO.com

Tiawain Johnson, the man accused committing a deadly shooting in Superior in 2012, was found not guilty by a jury Friday night after a week of trial.

Johnson faced a charge of first-degree intentional homicide, and the jury took under three hours to return the not guilty verdict. During the trial, District Attorney Dan Blank argued the victim, Toriano Cooper, robbed Johnson prompting him to murder Cooper.

After the verdict, Blank stood by charging Johnson, but said relying on only witness testimony from convicted criminals made for a tough case.

“We didn't have the smoking gun. We didn't have any kind of scientific evidence we had human testimony and humans with a fair amount of baggage,” Blank said.

Defense Attorney Aaron Nelson said the verdict lifted a weight from him and his client that had lingered for much longer than the week of trial.

“I think relief is probably the biggest emotion. Not much other than relief right now. It's been quite a bit of stress for the past week, but also for the past year that the case has been going on. We're just glad that the jury had the courage to do the right thing and make the difficult, what I'm sure was a difficult decision, but to see that justice was done in this case,” Nelson said.

Nelson and Johnson expressed more relief to be heading home after the not guilty verdict.

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