STEVE TOMS MURDER TRIAL: Attorney reaction to verdict

STEVE TOMS MURDER TRIAL: Attorney reaction to verdict

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)

Just a few hours was all it took for a jury to find one Columbus man guilty of murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault as the lengthy trial for Steve Toms' murder came to an end late Friday.

WTVM spoke with attorneys for both Michael Johnson and Dimitrius Gordon on Monday, who tell us their clients plan to appeal that decision, which is something they say could take years.

More than 200 items of evidence like highly debated music videos were officially turned over to the jury on Friday afternoon.

Convicted killer Michael Johnson and convicted robber Dimitrius Gordon stood trial together: Johnson for the murder of jewelry store manager Steve Toms in 2011, and both men for a string of armed robberies that followed in 2012.

The trial was originally set for six suspects, but four of them pleaded guilty before it started. Those men became key witnesses as they then testified against Johnson and Gordon.

"Michael Johnson guilty of murder, guilty of armed robbery, guilty of kidnapping, Dimitrius Gordon, guilty of armed robbery, guilty of kidnapping," said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cooley in Judge William Rumor's courtroom Friday during closing arguments.

The jury ultimately agreed with her words.

Mac Pilgrim, representing Johnson, says they were surprised that the jury reached a decision so quickly, but that opinions might have been formed over the course of the nearly three week-long trial.

"They had heard everything that I heard, and they had made considerations and all of those things, and when they headed into deliberations it was something where they may have agreed more starting out than I know," said Pilgrim.

Cooley told WTVM that "justice has been served," after the jury came to their decision.

Sentencing for the two men is scheduled for June 29 in Columbus.

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