Buffalo man charged with refusing to cooperate as witness in murder trial

Posted at 5:19 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 21:36:13-04

A Buffalo man has been charged for defying a court order to testify during a murder trial.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Dorian Johnson, Jr., 21, was arraigned on three counts of 2nd-degree criminal contempt. 

“Mr. Johnson was a key witness in this murder trial and his refusal to testify, even after being ordered by a judge, could have resulted in no justice,” said Flynn. 

Prosecutors said Johnson was served with a subpoena to appear in court, as Jaylin Wiggins was tried for murder. But Johnson failed to appear, and a witness warrant was issued.

After being located by Buffalo Police, prosecutors said they were told by Wiggins that he intended to testify. He then allegedly failed to appear again, this time cutting off an ankle monitor issued by the Erie County Department of Probation. 

When located with assistance of the US Marshals and other agencies, prosecutors said Johnson told a Buffalo detective that he would not testify in court.

After being brought into the courtroom to testify at the Wiggins trial, prosecutors said Johnson refused to be sworn in and refused to answer any questions, defying a court order. Johnson was held in contempt and brought back on another day, but prosecutors said he continued to refuse to be sworn in or to answer any questions. 

On Tuesday, a jury convicted Wiggins of murder and other charges, despite Johnson not testifying.

Johnson was remanded on $25,000 cash or bond. He is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday, May 30 at 9:30 a.m. 

If convicted on all charges, Johnson faces up to 2 years in prison.

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