Blair re-indictment dismissal, Johnson motions expected
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Jun 18, 2014 | 1666 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Johnson Hearing
Maurice Johnson
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Robert Kurtz, newly appointed defense counsel for convicted murderer Maurice Johnson, is expected to file a motion with special Judge Don Ash to recuse the 10th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office from the case.

In a related development, another defendant in the case, Twanna “Tart” Blair, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence regarding drug charges unrelated to the homicides, could have her re-indictment dismissed.

Johnson was found guilty in August 2010 of the triple homicide of Cayci Higgins, O.J. Blair and Dawn Rogers, whose bodies were found inside an apartment just off 20th Street N.E. on Valentine’s Day 1999.

Michael Younger was arrested recently in Knoxville after also being re-indicted in the shooting deaths.

Last week, District Attorney General-elect Steve Crump was appointed prosecutor pro-tem in the Younger case by special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood.

The past history of the case shows the investigation finally resulted in the arrests of Johnson, Younger and Blair, but the case has been clouded with controversy over the years.

Blair was also shot during the murders, but survived and investigators believed she played a role. She was originally charged with perjury and murder, but was acquitted on some of the charges. Prosecuting attorney Richard Fisher re-introduced three counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and one count of facilitation of especially aggravated robbery. Fisher maintains these charges were not dismissed or ruled on after her original trial.

Fisher said Tuesday that his office has received motion paperwork from Blackwood to dismiss the charges, but the paperwork has not yet been filed with the court.

“The motion has been sent to the attorneys, but hasn’t been officially filed,” Fisher said.

Regarding Tuesday’s hearing in Johnson’s continuing post-conviction relief efforts, Kurtz said he would file the motion to recuse the 10th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office by Monday.

Ash set a motions hearing date for July 25.

Prosecutor Paul Rush made no objections during the proceedings.