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Man Serving Life Sentence Acquitted In Hazelwood Woman’s Murder

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a verdict in the re-trial of a man who’s been in prison for nearly two decades for murder.

On Wednesday, the jury found Terrell Johnson not guilty. At one point, the jury had reached an impasse, but the judge asked them to try again.

Johnson has been serving a life sentence for allegedly killing Verna Robinson, of Hazelwood, in 1994. He has spent 18 years in jail.

Johnson was just 19 in 1994 when he was charged in the death of Robinson. Investigators say she was targeted because she was going to testify against him. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Johnson will now be processed out of the state prison system and will be released for the first time since his arrest in 1994.

He was acquitted of first degree murder, retaliation against a witness and criminal conspiracy.

The family and friends of Terrell Johnson were beside themselves with joy.

“Justice prevailed today,” Saundra Cole, the defendant’s wife, said. “Terrell’s been innocent for 18 years and truth now has set him free.”

Johnson got a new trial when a witness came forward, claiming a witness back then lied.

“I think there were too many inconsistencies with a lot of the witnesses the Commonwealth put forth,” Turahn Jenkins, a defense attorney, said. “It didn’t line up with the physical evidence.”

Barbara Robinson, the victim’s mother, left the courtroom stern-faced and without comment.


Stay with KDKA for the latest developments.

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