Recusal request reviewed
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Jul 27, 2014 | 856 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Special Judge Don Ash said it would be two to three weeks before he would announce his decision to accept or deny recusal of the 10th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office as prosecutors in the 1999 Valentine’s Day homicides.

A post-conviction relief hearing had been set several weeks ago for Maurice Johnson by his newly appointed defense counsel.

Robert Kurtz filed the motion after Johnson appeared at the Bradley County Courthouse June 17.

Johnson was convicted in the murders of Cayci Higgins, O.J. Blair and Dawn Rogers.

He was found guilty in August 2010.

Michael Younger was also charged in the deaths along with Twanna “Tart” Blair. New DAG Steve Crump was appointed as prosecutor pro-tem in the Younger prosecution. No new filings have been reported regarding Younger.

Blair was also arrested after a lengthy investigation. She was shot during the incident and survived, then investigators charged her as a part of the alleged conspiracy.

Crump said he filed appeal paperwork regarding the request for dismissal of charges against Blair.

She was originally charged with perjury and murder, but was acquitted on some of the charges and prosecuting attorney Richard Fisher recently re-introduced three counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, one count of facilitation of especially aggravated robbery.

Fisher maintains these charges were not dismissed or ruled on after her original trial, prompting Crump to appeal the request for dismissal of the charges.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood is the special judge in the case regarding Blair.

According to Richard Fisher who was prosecuting the case for the 10th District DAG’s Office, Blackwood had sent paperwork to his office regarding the motion to dismiss the charges.