CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Jury deliberations into a Charleston murder case will extend to a third day.
John Stanley Ford III of Charleston is accused of killing Bryant Keith Johnson on the city’s west side during a drug deal in April 2017. Closing arguments were heard early Friday before the 12-member jury began deliberating.
On Monday morning the jury had several questions for Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charles King, who is presiding over this trial, and did not return with a verdict after given answers to their questions.
The jury asked King in front of a crowded courtroom questions of when Ford was arrested, what led to police to Ford, what led one individual to the police, and what was the timeframe between the murder and Ford’s arrest. Those questions were not answered by King.
“I cannot myself repeat evidence or tell you what the evidence was or was not,” he said. “If I were to do that, I would become a member of this jury.”
The jury also requested transcripts of certain testimonies in the trial, which was denied by the judge.
“If I were to give you transcripts, that would tend to emphasize that witness’ testimony above the other witnesses’ testimony who you did not get transcripts for.
“I’m sorry I can’t be of more help to you but the law won’t permit me to do that.”
Ford faces a first-degree murder charge along with charges first-degree robbery, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, prohibited person in possession of a concealed firearm, and wanton endangerment for the incident that took place on April 30, 2017, on the 1000 block of 1st Avenue, per Charleston Police.
He took to the stand in his own defense on Thursday, as the first full trial day was Wednesday. Ford admitted to being in the area at the time of the shooting seeking drugs, and heard shots, but did not shoot Johnson.
The jury will reconvene Tuesday morning.