New trial date set for Superior murder suspect

By KBJR News 1

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com)--- A new trial date has been set for a Superior murder suspect who was released last month just days before his trial was set to begin

22-year-old Tiawain Johnson, the man accused of shooting Toriano Cooper to death in Superior in January of 20-12, will now go to trial on May 19.

Johnson's trial was originally set for January 7, but District Attorney Dan Blank says two inmates, who served time with Johnson at the Douglas County Jail, came forward saying Johnson confessed to them about his role in the death of cooper.

Those statements triggered an investigation into the alleged confession and pushed the trial back.

Blank said he is weighing the statements of the two new witnesses against two state witnesses who have already signed plea agreements before testifying at the trial.

With the new potential witnesses, Blank had to delay the trial until he had a chance to fully investigate their statements.

Johnson was released on a million dollar bail on January 3rd.

D.A. Blank says this case is unique and has been challenging from the start.

"Figuring out the circumstances that set the stage for that to happen, and trying to identify the players and the people involved that know something, has been a real challenge. And as I said its continuing to develop and we'll try to take these new pieces of the people and match them with the old ones and see if our case is stronger now than it was before," said District Attorney Dan Blank.

Aaron Nelson, Taiwain Johnson's defense attorney, requested a deadline for the state to turn over phone call and jail records from the new witnesses.

Johnson remains free on bail until the trial starts.

A pre trial hearing has been scheduled for April 28.

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

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