Three eyewitnesses testified this morning in the Smith County 7th District Court that they saw a 22-year-old Tyler man stab his mother’s boyfriend from behind multiple times as the unarmed man sat playing dominoes in May.
Justin Antwon Johnson is charged with the stabbing murder of Wallis Warfield, 62.
Ronnie Campbell, who drove Warfield to Trinity Mother Frances Hospital -- where the victim later died -- testified he heard Johnson accuse Warfield of shooting at his mother’s home as he stabbed Warfield. Campbell said Warfield denied shooting at the home. Johnson, who is charged with Warfield’s murder, faces up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted of the first-degree felony.
Campbell became emotional on the witness stand as he described driving Warfield to the hospital after the victim had been stabbed. Warfield, he said, “was my best friend.”
Defense attorney Johsua Wintters admitted to the jury that his client did indeed stab Warfield to death.
“It boils down to two things: you will hear a history of why it happened and you will hear doctors say Warfield had cocaine in his system and died of a heart attack,” Wintters said. Also, the autopsy conducted in Dallas showed a bag attached to Warfield’s body which contained 2,200 milliliters of blood, Wintters said to the jury.
“The hospital let the man bleed out,” Wintters said.
In his opening statements to the jury, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Richard Vance said that Johnson “took it upon himself to hunt a man down and kill an unarmed individual.”
Vance told the jury that it is very unusual for there to be three eyewitnesses to such a crime.