Mistrial in Police Officer Shooting Case - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/30/04

Mistrial in Police Officer Shooting Case

The trial of a man accused of shooting Savannah police officer Martin White has ended before it really ever got started. Everyone was set to go, ready to hear opening arguments. But in a surprise move, the judge granted a mistrial.

Once everyone was assembled in Judge James Bass' courtroom this morning, the case against Ahmad Johnson took an unexpected turn. "We feel that it is probably appropriate to go ahead and declare a mistrial," said said the judge.

Johnson is on trial for shooting STAR Cpl. Martin White on December 10, 2002. The reason for the mistrial is one of the jurors. Defense attorneys had a problem with Juror Number 18, because she works at Bank of America, which is tied to the case and will come up during the trial.

It's relevant to the home invasion part of the trial. Police say a few days before Johnson and another man, Calvin Martin, shot White, they robbed an elderly couple in a home on Holland Park Circle. The couple was tied up and beaten.

One of the things taken from the couple was a Bank of America ATM card that police say Johnson used to get cash.

Investigators say the motive for shooting White was to throw the detective off the home invasion case.

The trial will start over Monday morning with jury selection.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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