Jurors watch tearful confession in double murder trial
by Staff Reports | March 13, 2014 7:47 pm
Last Updated: March 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm
Jurors on Thursday watched the April 6, 2011, videotaped confession of a 24-year-old Summerton man charged with shooting and killing his 9-month old son, Jayden, and the 59-year-old grandmother of his ex-girlfriend.
Prosecutors played for jurors the eight-hour interrogation of Justin Jermaine Johnson, but did so in segments, with the most intense portion coming late in the afternoon.
“Whether intentional or not, I did it,” Johnson told Maj. Kipp Coker of the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office and former deputy Mason Moore.
Johnson, sobbing, told the deputies he couldn’t remember all his actions the day authorities say he killed his son and Maxine Caraway, the grandmother of his ex-girlfriend, Kaisha Caraway, who was wounded by gunfire in the shoulder.
Coker told Johnson that “it takes a big man” to confess, and Johnson, mumbling and crying, said his son’s name and said “it doesn’t change anything.”
“It can change how you feel about yourself,” Moore told him. “It can change how we feel about you.”
Moore, his right arm on Johnson’s back, then told Johnson to pray to God and ask for forgiveness.
Public Defender Scott Robinson, representing Johnson, had earlier objected to further playing of the interrogation when Johnson told the deputies he had nothing else to say. Robinson said his client had invoked his Miranda rights at that point.
Third Circuit Court Judge W. Jeffrey Young overruled Robinson’s motion after Johnson is heard in the video being asked by Coker if he was done talking. Johnson clarified that he wasn’t but noted that if the deputies asked the same questions, he would give the same answers and asked if they wanted to ask him “something else.”