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Johnson scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning

Court will hear motion to drop charges against Johnson, schedule trial date

<p>Martese Johnson at his first court appearance on March 26, at Charlottesville General District Court. </p>

Martese Johnson at his first court appearance on March 26, at Charlottesville General District Court. 

Fourth-year College student Martese Johnson will go before the Charlottesville General District Court Thursday morning to hear a decision on a motion filed last week to dismiss the charges against him based on a lack of reasonable suspicion.

Johnson’s lawyer, Daniel Watkins of Williams Mullen law firm, has consistently held that the police lacked reasonable suspicion to detain and subsequently arrest Johnson on the night of St. Patrick’s Day.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney Office may yet decide to drop the charges, though the trial date will also be determined during the hearing. Typically, a suppression hearing would immediately precede the trial, but the delay in this case will give the Commonwealth ample time to decide whether to dismiss Johnson’s charges.

Johnson initially appeared at the Charlottesville General District Court Mar. 26. At this time, he did not enter a plea, as the prosecution asked for a continuance in the case while the Virginia State Police investigation was ongoing. The Virginia State Police have since completed their report, though it is not yet available to the public.

The Commonwealth requested more time to consider the case before announcing their decision, said Caitlin Coakley Beckner, communications specialist at Williams Mullen, in an email.

“To be clear, the Commonwealth’s request for more time does not mean that they are not willing to drop the charges,” Beckner said. “It simply means that they’d like more time to decide what to do.”

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