Following a month-long sitting in the murder trial of defendant Johnnetta Pinky Abu, a jury of Criminal Court “A” has found her guilty of stabbing to death her fiancé, Morris Johnson, former Coordinator of the Claims and Benefits Department at the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation.
After the jury pronounced the guilty verdict against the defendant, family members of the deceased broke down in tears on the grounds of the Temple of Justice, claiming that the defendant “killed our brother for nothing.”
Of the twelve petite jurors who sat on the case, nine came down with a guilty verdict, while three came out with a non-guilty verdict.
According to court records, the petite jurors’ decision was based upon careful examination of all evidences, including the witnesses’ testimonies, adduced during the trial which linked the defendant to stabbing her fiancé to death.
Suspect Johnnetta Pinky Abu, aged 26, was accused of stabbing her fiancé Morris Johnson with a kitchen knife at their residence in the SKD Sports Complex vicinity in Paynesville that led to his death on June14, 2018 during a quarrel over the defendant’s alleged love affair with another man.
She was charged with murder and later indicted by the Government of Liberia during the August Term of Court and tried at Criminal Court ‘A’.
Following the reading of the indictment, she denied stabbing her fiancé to death.
The petite jurors were sequestrated for one month on the grounds of the Temple of Justice to ensure that they do not get in contact with anyone, or interact with any of the parties in the case, so that they could render an impartial and fair judgment in the case,
Meanwhile, the final ruling in the case will be delivered on Monday, January 7, at 9:00 a.m.
In a related development, Cllr. Arthur Johnson, defense lawyer in the ongoing murder trial at Criminal Court “A” involving Johnnetta Pinky Abu, who allegedly stabbed her fiancé to death, has filed a motion for new trial, indicating that state lawyers did not prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt.
Cllr. Johnson further stated that state prosecutors failed to state the date and time the alleged act was committed, noting that the indictment only states that during the evening hours of Thursday, June 14, 2018 the deceased and defendant along with one Genève were together at a local entertainment center under a friendly atmosphere which became strained.
He indicated that after that the boyfriend of the defendant entered the club and started dancing, which makes the indictment lack particularity and specificity during the trial, noting that the coroner’s report failed to meet the burden of proof of the cause of death.
Johnson pointed out that during the trial state lawyers did not show that the alleged murder weapon was examined and, moreover, the coroner who is not a medical practitioner cannot establish the cause of death.
He asserted that the alleged weapon was not the one described in the indictment, and is not the weapon retrieved from the crime scene, adding that it was a blue long knife that was retrieved from the crime scene, but that during the trial state lawyers produced a green handle knife.
He, however, stated that the jury ignored the instructions received from the court and that failure to follow the court’s instruction to the jury also undermined the rights of the defendant; the trial jury ignored the principles of reasonable self-defense and heat of passion and a battered woman’s syndrome read to them by the court.
The defense lawyer pointed out that all through the trial there were not enough evidences produced, and that the state lawyers failed to prove their case, and therefore the court should grant a new trial.
It can be recalled that 26 year-old defendant Johnnetta Pinky Abu was arrested, charged, and forwarded to court for allegedly stabbing to death her fiancé Morris Johnson.
Morris Johnson is a former coordinator for claims and benefits at the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation.
Defense lawyer Cllr. Johnson prayed the court to grant the defendant’s motion for new trial set by the trial jury verdict and by the evidence in the trial acquit the defendant of the charges of murder contained in the indictment and grant further relief to the defendant.