Fiancee of Superior murder victim speaks out after alleged killer is released

By KBJR News 1

January 6, 2014 Updated Jan 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM CST

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- The suspect accused of gunning down a Superior man in January of 20-12 was released from jail Friday, just before his murder trial was set to begin Monday.

Now the fiancée of the victim is speaking out...she says she's angry and frightened for her life.

Toriano Cooper was murdered in Superior in January of 20-12. The case went cold for a year and half until 22-year-old Tiawain Johnson was tracked down in Chicago and arrested and charged with first degree murder. For Cooper's fiancée, Kristina Lampi, the arrest finally brought some closure.

"I finally felt like justice was going to be served," said Lampi.

Fast forward to January 20-14. In a new twist, Johnson allegedly confessed to other inmates in jail to his role in the death of Cooper. The confession prompted Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank to re-open his investigation into the murder.

Because Blank had agreed to a "speedy trial", under state law the case had to go to court before the end of January.

With the new information coming to light Blank said he wouldn't be able to make that deadline.

That forced the judge to set bail...a million dollar signature bond...which three days before the trial was set to begin, Johnson paid and was released.

"Disgusted, devastated, hopeless, any part of closure that I thought I was going to feel was gone," said Lampi.

Blank says his questioning of the Douglas County jail inmates to whom Johnson allegedly confessed, has led him to believe there is another potential witness to the murder.

While Lampi is hopeful for a good outcome to the trial she is frightened with Cooper's killer on the streets.

"It's my safety, my children's safety and when you have your son scared to be home and me scared to be home. He's out here on the loose, he already took one life, what would it be for him to take one more?" questioned Lampi.

Lampi says she won't give up fighting for justice for the man she loved.

Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank says Johnson is not being monitored while out on release .

Blank says he is considered a flight risk and is probably back in Chicago, but he is hopeful that he will be back for his next court appearance on February 4.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

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