The Latest: Exoneration-perjury case verdict likely
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the perjury trial of two men whose recanted testimony in a 1993 murder case led to freedom for a man convicted in the killing. (all times local):
Two men who changed their stories in a 1993 murder case, resulting in freedom for a man who was imprisoned for two decades, will likely hear their verdict in a perjury case on Monday.
District Judge Ben Willard is expected to rule then in the case of Kevin Johnson and Hakim Shabazz. Both were teenagers when they implicated Jerome Morgan in the death of 16-year-old Clarence Landry.
New Orleans City Council member Jason Williams is a defense attorney in the case. At Friday’s trial he was highly critical of District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office for pursuing the perjury case. Defense attorneys say both teens were coerced by police into implicating Morgan.
Morgan was freed in 2014 after his conviction was thrown out. Charges were officially dropped last year.
A state judge is hearing arguments on whether two men are guilty of perjury for changing their stories about a 1993 murder — leading to freedom for the man convicted in the case.
Prosecutors say Kevin Johnson and Hakim Shabazz lied when they were teenagers — or when they recanted 20 years later.
The original suspect, Jerome Morgan, was freed in 2014. Prosecutors dropped his charges last year.
Johnson and Shabazz were indicted on perjury charges in 2015. Defense lawyers argued Friday during a trial before Judge Ben Willard, that Johnson and Shabazz were coerced by police when they implicated Morgan.
Morgan was 17 when he was arrested in the death of 16-year-old Clarence Landry. Landry died after gunfire broke out at a party at a hotel ballroom.
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