Officer, Inmate Testify in Officer Shooting Trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/09/04

Officer, Inmate Testify in Officer Shooting Trial

Cpl. White takes the stand. Cpl. White takes the stand.
 

The most dramatic testimony came today in the trial of Ahmad Johnson, charged with shooting Savannah police corporal Martin White. One day before the two-year anniversary of the shooting, White took the stand.

A little weak, but all the more determined, he told the jury what happened that cold and rainy morning on December 10, 2002. He said a man asked him for a ride, but that's not what he wanted.

"Then I saw a flash and then I heard a sound," testified White, describing the sound as "like a gunshot."

White testified he was sitting in his police car in Habersham Village when he was shot twice--in the neck and side.
He says the shooter wasn't Ahmad Johnson--the man on trial--it was another suspect, Calvin Martin.

But another witness--Ronnie Hall, Johnson's cell mate--testified Johnson had a role in the shooting. "He loaded the gun himself with a certain kind of bullets to make sure the officers died," said Hall.

He said Johnson even reenacted how Cpl. White was shot. "As he was shooting, he moved around to the front."

"It was a random officer," Hall said. "If it wasn't going to be Officer White it would have been someone else."

Prosecutors say Johnson and Martin decided to shoot a police officer to cover up another crime, a home invasion that happened a week earlier.

Johnson's attorney said Hall's testimony is tainted. He pointed out Hall is related to a former Savannah police officer. But Hall denied talking with him about the matter.

Sgt. Andre Jackson took the stand next and backed up Hall's testimony. "I was the lead investigator in this case and the things he told me, I didn't know about in my own case."

That was all the prosecution needed the jury to hear. They then rested their case.

Closing arguments are expected to begin tomorrow.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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