DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN)—The State of Alabama has asked the court to deny the recent information requests filed by former Houston County Assistant District Attorney Mark Johnson, calling it a “fishing expedition”.
Over the past few months, Johnson’s defense has put in motions for the state to reveal the identities and addresses of all the whistleblowers and informants, statements made by co-conspirators, all immunity granted to informants or witnesses, and more.
Johnson, who has been indicted on six counts of ethics charges, claimed this would help his defense.
The state responded to Johnson’s motions on December 14, explicitly requesting the court deny what the defendant was asking for, saying most of the information requested does not meet the rules and caselaw under state guidelines.
In short, a defendent’s request for discovery cannot be a “fishing expedition” and must instead heed to what the rules and caselaw allow. Plainly, Johnson’s blanket requests for any statements of any co-conspirator or accessory and any evidence an informant provided law enforcement does not meet this testState’s reponse
The state also claims that most of what Johnson requested has already been submitted to the cases discovery file.
The only thing they had not submitted, the state says, were the names and addresses of any co-conspirators or informants and all information they provided to law enforcement. But the state says Johnson is not entitled to this information and this would be considered an “open-file discovery”, which is not required by the Supreme Court.
According to court records, Johnson’s next court appearance has not been set.
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