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Motion hearing in 2016 house party murder delayed

A motion hearing in a 2016 murder case stemming from a house party was supposed to happen today. At the center of it, questionable Facebook messages between a witness, District Attorney Mark Jones, and Jones Attorney from a separate criminal case.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 10:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -Since the airing of this report, we’ve received multiple responses about the recipient of the messages a Columbus Defense Attorney, Anthony Johnson, said is between Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark, Jones, a witness in a murder investigation, and Chris Breault, a local attorney.

A motion hearing in a 2016 murder case stemming from a house party was supposed to happen today. At the center of it, questionable Facebook messages between a witness, District Attorney Mark Jones, and Jones’ attorney.

Anthony Johnson, the defense attorney in the case told News Leader 9 he filed the motion in order to show how Jones tries to get witnesses to testify in exchange for leniency in a different case. It’s important to point out, the Facebook account name is to a “Don Casper”. Defense Attorney Johnson said in a statement to News Leader 9, “There is no doubt in my mind that these messages are Andrew Lloyd. Literally, everything he told Andrew told me was going to be in there was in there.”

Johnson told News Leader 9, Lloyd is currently behind bars in the Muscogee County jail, and the inmate reached out to Johnson to represent him as his attorney. According to Johnson, he could not represent Lloyd because he is a witness who is supposed to testify against Johnson’s client, Drevon Johnson. According to Johnson, Lloyd granted Johnson access to his Facebook account to make Johnson aware of messages he said was between him and District Attorney Mark Jones, and a separate thread between Lloyd and Chris Breault.

District Attorney Mark Jones and Chris Breault reached out to News Leader 9, and said, the recipient of the Facebook messages have not been confirmed to be Andrew Lloyd, due to the name of the Facebook account being “Don Casper”.

“Where you at? I’m gone find you. You f*cked with the wrong DA,” read Anthony Johnson from a Facebook message thread, he told News Leader was from Mark Jones to a potential witness in the case, Andrew Lloyd.

“So basically, y’all blackmailing me saying if I don’t come to court, he’s going to send me to prison, and if I come to court, he’s going to dismiss it, that sounds like blackmail,” read another message Johnson said is from Andrew Lloyd to Mark Jones’ Attorney, Chris Breault.

“You f’ed with the wrong da and that’s what the individual specifically talked about and he felt as if he was being asked to say something that he did not want to and he didn’t want to be there to begin with and he felt like he was putting himself in a situation,” said Defense Attorney Johnson.

“We’re missing this Andrew Lloyd guy, and sure enough, Drevon Johnson’s attorney says, Andrew Lloyd is the shooter, that’s what he said in his closing and opening and all throughout the case. So I went to tried and find Andrew Lloyd through whatever means I could, said Mark Jones. “We tried really hard to find Andrew Lloyd. We being me. And he couldn’t be found until the media became involved. Basically, we shared Andrew Lloyd’s image, with-- we being me-- Colin Scroggins, a local reporter, and the next day, sure enough they found him. All of a sudden, people start caring. Oh we got to get this guy, but for many months, even with a warrant from Judge Mullins, couldn’t find him. Didn’t want to find him. I don’t know what it was.”

Johnson is representing Drevon Johnson, the suspect in a 2016 murder case stemming from a house party that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Richard Collier. The case was tried earlier this year and resulted in a mistrial, with a deadlocked jury, split 8-4 leaning towards a not guilty verdict.

According to Defense Attorney Johnson, he filed a motion for a hearing to have all deals revealed in the case and planned to bring the message threads up, but Lloyd’s attorney feared further reporting of the messages would put his client in danger.

”My client is currently in the jail, and I’m afraid of any risk he would face with his identity being published in the news,” said Lloyd’s attorney, Alasandro Armando, in Friday’s motion hearing.

Jones responded and said, “The first amendment is the problem with that argument, and the news has a right to report the news, and your client is a witness who refused to cooperate earlier.”

As a result, the judge decided to reschedule the motion hearing back for a later date. There’s no indication when it will be retried at this time.

“There wasn’t any motion from me to continue it, and there wasn’t any motion from the defense lawyers to continue it, so he didn’t want to hear it apparently,” said Mark Jones.

The case was originally tried earlier this year and resulted in a mistrial. The jury was split 8 to 4 leaning towards a not guilty verdict.

There’s no indication when it will be retried at this time.

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