Interrogation video takes up entire third day of Johnson trial
by Staff Reports | March 13, 2014 11:15 pm
Last Updated: March 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm
Was it an accident? What really happened?
Those two questions, asked repeatedly to Justin Jermaine Johnson by two sheriff’s office deputies, seemed to finally crack Johnson’s stoic demeanor on April 6, 2011, after several hours of interrogation following Johnson’s arrest.
Authorities charged him with two counts of murder and one count each of kidnapping, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and first-degree burglary in the shooting deaths of 59-year-old Maxine Caraway and Johnson’s 9-month-old son Jayden. Johnson is accused of going to Caraway’s home on Carissa Lane in Manning and shooting the victims and the boy’s mother, Kaisha, who suffered an injury to her shoulder.
Jurors on Thursday heard many hours of Johnson’s interrogation by Maj. Kipp Coker of the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and Mason Moore, now a former deputy.
The beginning of Johnson unraveling and finally confessing seemed to begin after Coker called him a liar. Johnson had told the deputies a story about a life or death struggle with a man named Robert, who he said was the real shooter.
“You are lying to us,” Coker told him, after Johnson said he ran past his dead 9-month-old son to get his 2-year-old daughter and Kaisha Caraway and get out of the house. “A man shoots your son and you do nothing?”
Johnson also told the deputies he “didn’t take a mental picture” of the position of Maxine Caraway’s body and was unable to describe that particular facet. Coker said he can recall horrible incidents from 10 years ago. Johnson was also only able to say his son was slumped forward in his high chair and he saw blood on the back of the chair.
Day four of Johnson’s trial begins 9:30 a.m. Friday in County Council Chambers at the Clarendon County Administration Building.