Johnson Trial: Jury Could Have Case by End of Week

Aaron Flint posted on February 26, 2013 12:30 :: 1266 Views

With all the media attention focused on a high-profile rape trial in Missoula, Montana- I find it interesting to note that we could soon hear a verdict in the case of a former University of Montana quarterback.  

Former US Attorney Bill Mercer has been watching the case.  He says the jury could have the case by the end of the week.  How long they would then take to come up with a verdict is anyone’s guess. 

For those of you who missed our discussion on the attention that social media is paying to the case, a San Francisco Chronicle blog has also picked up on the story

The Chronicle notes how the case is playing out in real time via social media, quotes our discussion with Mercer, and added this:

The case is playing out against a background of federal and NCAA investigations of how the university has handled sexual assault and harassment allegations. Montana football coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O’Day were fired last March, days after Pflugrad called Johnson “a person of tremendous moral fiber.” One of Johnson’s Grizzly teammates, running back Beau Donaldson, last month was sentenced to 10 years in prison (plus 20 suspended) after pleading guilty to raping a longtime friend as she slept over at his home.

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For those of you who missed it, the case is drawing national attention.  ABC News opened up the trial with this piece on Good Morning America earlier this month: 


Trial by Twitter- Former US Attorney Weighs In

You could call it “Trial by Twitter.” A high profile trial underway in Missoula, Montana, as a former University of Montana quarterback is charged with rape.

Given the ever-expanding use of social media, play-by-play accounts of the trial are recounted as they happen over social media applications like Facebook and Twitter from multiple news outlets.  In fact, Montana media outlets have been using the #JohnsonTrial hashtag for any play-by-play accounts from the courtroom.   

In the first half of Thursday’s (2/21/13) Voices of Montana we talked about all that and more with former US Attorney Bill Mercer.   We also got his take on how the prosecution’s case has been going so far- and it didn’t sound too good for the prosecution. 

Voices of Montana airs statewide, every Monday thru Friday, from 9-10 AM.

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