Elmore County murder suspect makes first court appearance - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Elmore County murder suspect makes first court appearance

Johnson listens during his first court appearance on murder and robbery charges. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Johnson listens during his first court appearance on murder and robbery charges. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Booking photo for Malik Johnson (Source: Elmore County Jail) Booking photo for Malik Johnson (Source: Elmore County Jail)
Johnson stands before the judge for his first court hearing. (Source: WSFA 12 News) Johnson stands before the judge for his first court hearing. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) -

Malik Johnson, 18, made his first appearance before Judge Glenn Goggans Tuesday following his arrest over the weekend on first-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges. 

Johnson is accused of committing a brutal killing outside Tallassee in Elmore County. Saturday, the body of Stephvon Adams, 26, was found near the Friendship Community.

“We have two people involved in something stupid, and one ended up dead," Elmore County District Attorney Randall Houston explained. 

Investigators say Johnson confessed to the crime, reportedly telling investigators he was sitting in the passenger seat of Adam’s car when he began firing shots. When Adams fled from the car, Johnson slid over to the driver’s seat and reportedly ran over him.  

Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, Johnson’s age prohibits him from being charged with capital murder. Houston said the high court's ruling doesn’t allow defendants 18 and younger to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

“It just makes it tremendously more difficult for us to get the death penalty,” Houston explained. “There’s no reason to go for the death penalty or life without parole if we can’t get it. The Miller case makes it much more difficult, nearly impossible.”

Johnson’s bond is set at $2 million, a million for each felony count. If he could be charged with capital murder, Johnson would have no bond.

Houston said his office would fight any attempt to lower the bond before Johnson’s case goes before a grand jury.  

“At the end of the day, when this is all over, we hope will have a substantial sentence that will keep him in prison for a long time,” Houston stated.

Johnson told the judge he did not have an attorney at Tuesday’s hearing.  He has 30 days to request a preliminary hearing.  

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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