Homicide suspect pleads not guilty in Superior shootingA Chicago man accused of gunning down a man in front of his Superior home pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree intentional homicide today in Douglas County Circuit Court.
A Chicago man accused of gunning down a man in front of his Superior home pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree intentional homicide today in Douglas County Circuit Court.
Tiawain Albert Johnson, 21, of Chicago faces the charge stemming from the Jan. 15, 2012, shooting death of Toriano Cooper outside 1901 N. 12th St.
Chief Public Defender J. Patrick O’Neill, who represents Johnson, requested a status conference.
“That makes sense, your honor,” Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank told Judge Kelly Thimm. The district attorney said he will try to get the discovery packet together within the next couple of weeks.
The status conference was set for Oct. 25. Johnson is being held at the Douglas County Jail without bail. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.
The fatal shooting was linked to drugs and an armed robbery that took place at Johnson’s home, according to the criminal complaint. Johnson blamed Cooper, who was known as “Snap,” for setting up the robbery and shot him in retaliation, according to preliminary hearing testimony.
Cooper was shot on a Sunday morning while he was working on his car outside the residence, according to the criminal complaint. He managed to get inside the house and was found unconscious in the home. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Investigation into the murder hit initially hit a dead end, according to Blank.
“It took some time before circumstances came together and a couple of people who knew information and had an interest in talking decided to talk,” the district attorney said following a preliminary hearing last month. “And that reopened the case.” Two of the witnesses who gave testimony against Johnson are also in custody at the Douglas County Jail facing unrelated felony drug charges.