|Contact Lorenzo Johnson|
|Lorenzo Johnson accepted a deal with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office and was immediately released from prison as a free man on July 11, 2017.
|DOB: November 5,1973|
|Lorenzo Johnson's case data|
|State and County||Pennsylvania, Dauphin County|
|Case No.||1544 CD 1996|
|Crime||1st Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder|
|Date of Crime||December 15, 1995|
|Date of Arrest|
|Date of Conviction||March 17, 1997|
|Sentence||Life without parole plus 5-10 years|
|Age at the Date of Crime||22|
|Contributing Factors||Perjury, Official Misconduct, Ineffectiveness of Counsel|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||No|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||N/A|
Lorenzo Johnson and his co-defendant Corey Walker were tried and convicted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of first degree murder and conspiracy. Johnson was sentenced to life without parole plus 5-10 years. The shooting victim in this case is Tarajay Williams.
Johnson is from New York and he was visiting friends off and on in Harrisburg. On the night of the homicide, Johnson was in New York, where witnesses could place him at. One witness gave a statement that Johnson was in New York with her and was later forced by police to get her to change her testimony for a reduced sentence on an open criminal charge she had pending. Other witnesses gave statements saying that Johnson was nowhere around on the night that this murder occurred.
Statements were made by a known crack user, that she was paid crack cocaine to lure the victim to the area where he was murdered. This statement was made to one of Johnson’s alibi witnesses, yet his name was never mentioned. This young lady originally told police she knew nothing about the murder. At trial she gave testimony that there was an argument in a bar and Johnson’s co-defendant and the deceased were asked to leave the bar. When the two walked around the corner, she said she heard a boom, but never saw what happened, in the alley but, it looked like Johnson could have been the lookout.
At trial the bar owner gave testimony that Johnson was not part of any argument or was present in the bar the day of this murder.
Another witness gave testimony that he observed a lady go into the alley at the time the deceased was murdered.
The police during their investigation and questioning of witnesses was provocative by their suggestive methods by only showing two (2) mug shots: Lorenzo Johnson’s and that of his co-defendant – and not a variety of mug shots.
Another witness for Johnson who was later arrested on unrelated charges was taken to the police station from the county prison and threatened to give a false statement against Johnson and in return he would be given a reduced sentence.
There was another Commonwealth witness who after trial contacted Johnson’s attorney and signed an affidavit stating he wrongfully placed Mr. Johnson on the scene when in actuality he never saw Johnson at the murder scene. This witness stated he was pressured to place Johnson on the scene.
There were many illegal practices used to convict Johnson. No factual evidence was presented that could place Johnson at the crime scene or that he had anything to do with the crime.
The Superior Court Judge dissented and gave an opinion that the State’s evidence was not sufficient enough to show that Johnson conspired to murder anyone.
According to his friends and family, Lorenzo Johnson is a family man and father who was very loving and caring, playing a vital role in the rearing of his children. “Therefore this appeal is for freedom, justice, loving individuals to get involved to help Johnson be re-united with his family, him today, you tomorrow!”
How you can help
Share this article and go to the IIPPI Forum for updates!
Petition Under The Post Conviction Relief Act (May 2002) (pdf)
Motion to Withdraw As Counsel (February 2005) (pdf)
Motion For Conflict Of Interest (pdf)
Memorandum Opinion And Order (pdf)
ROA Report 3/30/1996-7/14/2005 (pdf)
Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus (44 pages, pdf)
Witness Victoria Doubs (19 pages, pdf)
statement/testimony of Victoria Doubs providing “alibi”
Doubs’ testimony she received no special treatment for her testimony
Testimony Carla Brown (17 pages, pdf)
Wayne K. Ross, M.D., P.C. Forensic Pathologist Report, front page & page 3 (pdf)
Prosecutor Christopher Abruzzo vouching for credibility of witness before the jury (pdf)
Letter from Centurion Ministries
221 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542
www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/082477np.pdf (37 pages)
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Lorenzo Johnson’s conviction on October 4, 2011, and stated in its opinion:
The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision affirming Johnson’s conviction was an unreasonable application of the Constitutional requirement that the Commonwealth present evidence sufficient to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. 28 U.S.C. 2254(d)(1); In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 365-68 (1970); Jackson, 443 U.S. at 319. Accordingly, for all the reasons we have set forth above, we will reverse the District Court’s order denying habeas relief and remand to that court with instructions for it to issue the writ.
Lorenzo Johnson was released from prison in early 2012. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office prosecutors appealed. Four (4) months later, on May 29, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered him back behind bars.
Ruling: Supreme Court of the United States
Brian Coleman, et al v. Lorenzo Johnson
on petition for writ of certiorari
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Decided May 29, 2012
Double Injustice: Lorenzo “Cat” Johnson
June 17, 2013
Attorney Rachel Wolkenstein’s blog