Prosecution continues to call witnesses at Johnston trial
The prosecution continued calling witnesses this morning in the murder trial of alleged Cash Feenz defendant Kemar Johnston.
Johnston, 23, faces two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the October 2006 deaths of Alexis Sosa, 18, and Jeffrey Sosa, 14. If convicted, Johnston faces life in prison without parole, or death.
The Sosas were hog-tied, beaten and tortured at a birthday party at a Cape Coral duplex. They were then driven to an industrial park in the north Cape, where they were fatally shot and the body of Alexis was burned in the trunk of a vehicle. Fire units discovered the car and bodies when they responded to a call about a fire at the site.
Johnston’s trial began Friday with opening statements after nearly two weeks of jury selection at the Lee County Justice Center in downtown Fort Myers. A 12-member jury was seated, along with two alternate jurors, from those retained from three jury pools.
During the first two days of the trial, jurors heard testimony from a lineup of witnesses that included members of the Cape Coral police and fire departments, a detective with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office employees.
The prosecution opened today’s proceedings by calling to the stand Michael Marquis Taylor, who testified to being present the night of the party. Taylor told the jury about who he saw at the party, what happened to the Sosas and who he said was involved.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Terry Lenamon compared Taylor’s testimony today to statements he gave to police after the time of the murders. Lenamon pointed out inconsistencies in Taylor’s reports.
Taylor confirmed for the defense that during questioning, police implied that if Taylor did not cooperate he would be charged, that police threatened him and told him they did not believe what he was telling them. Taylor told the jury that he continued to lie to the police, but the police did not feed him a story or tell him what they thought occurred.
The trial and testimony continues at the Lee County Justice Center before 20th Judicial Circuit Judge Thomas S. Reese. Assistant State Attorneys Bob Lee and Marie Doerr are prosecuting the case, and David A. Brener is serving as co-counsel for the defense.