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Man accused of killing brother appears for motion hearing

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:26 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - A man accused of killing his brother was in court Monday morning.

Billy Ray Johnson appeared in Judge Robert Waters’ courtroom for a motion hearing.

Most of the hearing was spent debating what pictures could be shown to the jury by prosecutors. The defense took issue with multiple of the photos, which showed Johnson’s tattoos. The argument was that they were likely to evoke prejudice in the jurors. The prosecutors argued that, while they would take out a picture of his leg unless it becomes relevant to the case, the other pictures showed the condition Johnson was in after the altercation.

The judge ruled only pictures of Johnson’s head could be used, unless other body pictures become relevant to claims of injury.

Johnson’s defense team plans to argue he was defending himself the day his brother was killed.

Another motion hearing is set for December 9th.

Johnson’s lawyers plan to bring witnesses to testify that his dead brother was a violent man.

Johnson is charged with first-degree murder.

For more context to this hearing, see links below to read previous coverage.

https://www.wtap.com/content/news/One-hospitalized-in-Wood-County-stabbing-564364701.html

https://www.wtap.com/2021/09/24/johnson-trial-delayed-due-covid-issues/

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