Jury trial for fatal Red Carpet stabbing to begin later this month

Jury trial for fatal Red Carpet stabbing to begin later this month

ST. CLOUD — A Stearns County Court moved forward Friday with preparations for a jury trial for a man charged in connection with a fatal stabbing at the Red Carpet. 

Christopher Lamar Johnson, 28, of St. Cloud, appeared in court remotely Friday afternoon as the court addressed exhibits, testimony and procedure for the upcoming trial.

Johnson is charged with one felony count of second-degree murder, with intent but not premeditated, and one felony count of second-degree murder without intent while committing a felony, according to court records. Each count is listed with an additional statute for liability of crimes of another. 

More:2 more charged with murder in Sunday Red Carpet stabbing

Several witnesses were called to speak about the foundation for exhibits containing video surveillance, including an officer with the St. Cloud Police Department and an investigator from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office who assisted with the investigation.

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Judge Matthew Engelking said in court that the purpose for the hearing was to help minimize delays during the trial in light of COVID-19. 

Jury questionnaires were previously submitted to streamline the jury selection process prior to the trial start.

Engelking also dismissed a motion from Christopher Johnson’s lawyer, Joseph Vaccaro, to release him on conditions and dismiss charges based on not holding a trial within the speedy demand period.

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