Watch: Judge rules on Lamar Johnson’s murder conviction

ST. LOUIS – Lamar Johnson, who has been behind bars for 28 years for a murder he allegedly did not commit, will know if his conviction will be overturned.

Johnson was arrested on October 30, 1994 and charged with killing Marcus Boyd on a $40 drug debt. Boyd was 25.

Johnson was found guilty in July 1995 and sentenced to life in prison without parole in September of that year. From his cell at Jefferson City Correctional Center, Johnson has maintained that he was not involved in the murder. He claimed he was with his girlfriend the night Boyd was shot, except for a brief time when he was selling drugs, which was blocks from the scene of the shooting.

For years, St. Louis District Attorney Kim Gardner has sought to have Johnson’s conviction overturned and his prison term released. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has long maintained that Johnson’s conviction was fair.

After Gardner’s 2019 request for a new trial was denied, she filed papers in August 2022 to have the conviction overturned. The Midwest Innocence Project was involved for Johnson. In a 67-page report, Gardner said police and prosecutors fabricated evidence and secretly paid a witness.

Johnson was transferred to the St. Louis County Justice Center in December 2022 while the matter was being decided.

During a hearing in December, the lead detective on the case said there was no physical evidence Johnson was involved in the murder. Furthermore, the only person who identified Johnson as the killer recanted his testimony.

Since Johnson’s conviction, two other men have come forward and admitted to Boyd’s murder.

Phil Campbell, the other man found guilty of murder, was sentenced to seven years on reduced charges for his collaboration in Johnson’s case. However, Campbell later signed an affidavit

Campbell signed an affidavit years before his death that Johnson was not involved in the murder. Watch: Judge rules on Lamar Johnson’s murder conviction

Sarah Y. Kim

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