Convicted murder suspect has hearing for new trial in Lauderdale County

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FLORENCE, Ala. - A convicted murderer is trying to get a new trial in Lauderdale County.

On the fourth floor of the Lauderdale County Courthouse Monday, attorney’s representing Shawn Johnson got aggressive with a sheriff’s investigator who failed to turn-over information about a potential suspect, before his trial more than three years ago.

Defense attorney Dustin McCown called sheriff’s deputy and former investigator Travis Clemmons to the stand right off the bat.


Former investigator Travis Clemmons

McCown asked for a new trial after documents he believed were pertinent to the defense were found in a vacant home.

Sergeant Clemmons had moved from the home a few weeks before the documents were found and delivered to the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office.

According to testimony, Clemmons had questioned a man who may have seen or been part of Keith Barnett’s death in 2000. The interview took place several years after the death, and the only evidence of the interview was a recording.


Chief Deputy Richard Richey

Chief Deputy Richard Richey who was an investigator on the case, said Clemmons made a mistake by not turning it over to the D.A. and leaving the files behind.

McCown then called his co-defense attorney for the trial of Shawn Johnson to the stand.

112816-ld-shawn-johnson-rule-32-pkgAttorney Jamy Poss stated he would have used the information found as part of his defense, had he known it was available.

Judge Gil Self has decided to study the evidence and make a ruling in the near future on whether or not Shawn Johnson will get another trial.

Johnson was sentenced to life in prison for his murder conviction.