An attempt to close pretrial hearings in a capital murder case failed today.
Attorneys for Kelvin S. Johnson, 25, wanted Judge J. David Roper to close the pre-trial hearings that will deal with what evidence will be allowed at trial and what, if any, statement Johnson may have made is admissible when he stands trial in Richmond County Superior Court.
Johnson has pleaded not guilty to charges that include murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault for an Aug. 26 home invasion in which 69-year-old Martha Greene was shot to death and her husband, Tilman “T.C.” Greene was wounded at their Plantation Road home.
The defense argued the exposure of possible incriminating evidence would bias potential jurors against Johnson who faces a possible death sentence if convinced. District Attorney Ashley Wright and Augusta attorney David Hudson _ on behalf of The Augusta Chronicle _ countered that the law requires more than mere speculation that a defendant could be harmed by pretrial news coverage and the defense had no proof.