Judge Prentis Edwards found Justly Johnson guilty after a two-day trial. There was no jury. He acknowledged there were no eyewitnesses and there was only circumstantial evidence.
The case hinged on the testimony of Antonio Burnette and Raymond Jackson. Justly Johnson's attorney attacked the witness' credibility, but the judge believed their testimony. Judge Edwards declined to comment for this story because the case is still before him.
Justly Johnson's lawyer, Sanford Shulman, was shocked by the judge's verdict. He thought the evidence was so thin it was better to take the case before a dispassionate judge than a jury where emotions and sympathy for the victim can come into play. Shulman later regretted that decision.
Justly Johnson has proclaimed his innocence since the day police picked him up and his story has never changed. Johnson says he asked the police to give him a polygraph test and they wouldn't. After his conviction, Johnson took a polygraph test and passed.