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State of Wisconsin v. Scott J. Johnson
MADISON - Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen announced today that on December 9, 2008, in the case of State of Wisconsin v. Scott J. Johnson, Marinette County Case No. 08-CF-124, Marinette County Circuit Court Judge Tim A. Duket denied the defendants requests for a change of venue and for suppressing the defendants statements from use at his trial, which is scheduled to begin on March 16, 2009.
The defendant, Scott J. Johnson, 38, of Kingsford, Michigan, is charged in Marinette County with three counts of first degree intentional homicide, six counts of attempted first degree intentional homicide, and one count of sexual assault, occurring at the Menominee River separating Wisconsin and Michigan near Niagara, Wisconsin, on July 30-31, 2008.
Johnsons attorneys had filed a motion seeking a change of venue to have a jury from a different Wisconsin county hear his case, on grounds of prejudicial pretrial publicity. Judge Duket denied this motion, finding that the media coverage of the case was objective and not inflammatory, and that an unbiased jury could be drawn from Marinette County citizens.
Johnsons attorneys had also filed a motion seeking to exclude his statements to investigators from being introduced into evidence at the trial. Judge Duket denied this motion, ruling that Johnson spoke voluntarily with the investigators and that police had not violated Johnsons rights in the questioning.
Assistant Attorneys General Roy R. Korte and Gary A. Freyberg of the Wisconsin Department of Justice represent the state of Wisconsin as special prosecutors.
The charges against the defendant are only accusations at this point, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.