Buffalo Man Charged for Refusing to Cooperate as Witness in Murder Trial

Modified: April 30, 2018 12:38pm

Latest News

Redirecting to our new, updated website ...

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 21-year-old Dorian Johnson, Jr. of Buffalo has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski on an indictment charging him with three counts of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree.

The defendant was served with a subpoena to appear in court for the trial of People vs. Jaylin Wiggins, but failed to appear and a witness warrant was issued. After being located by Buffalo Police, the defendant met with the Assistant District Attorneys prosecuting the case and indicated that he intended to testify.

The defendant failed to appear in court a few days later.  He also cut off an ankle monitor that was issued by the Erie County Department of Probation.

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

When brought into the courtroom to testify in the trial of Mr. Wiggins, the defendant refused to be sworn in and refused to answer any questions, in contravention of a court order.  The defendant was held in contempt and was brought back on another day, but he continued to refuse to be sworn in or to answer any questions.

Wiggins was convicted by a jury on Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree for a shooting in August 2016 that injured one person and killed 22-year-old Laron Watkins, in spite of the defendant refusing to testify.

“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 for the man who was seriously injured or the family of Mr. Watkins who lost his life,” said DA Flynn.

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.

Assistant District Attorney Nicholas T. Texido of the DA’s Training and Special Projects Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Erin Hart of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau are prosecuting the case.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.