Preliminary hearing set for man accused of attempted murder at Virginia bar

By Blake Schnitker on October 17 at 10:39am

A Chandlerville man arrested for alleged attempted murder in Virginia earlier this month made an appearance in Cass County court yesterday.

Sixty-two year old Jimmy Johnson appeared in from of Eighth Judicial Circuit Judge Bob Hardwick at the Cass County courthouse yesterday morning to set a date for a preliminary hearing. At Johnson’s initial court appearance on Thursday, Judge Hardwick deemed Johnson indigent and assigned Public Defense Attorney Denise Barr to represent him in the matter going forward. Cass County State’s Attorney John Alvarez will serve as the prosecutor against the defendant.

According to Alvarez, Johnson faces charges of alleged attempted murder, aggravated battery and mob action in connection with an alleged stabbing outside a Virginia bar on the night of Friday, October 6th. At yesterday’s appearance, Judge Hardwick scheduled a preliminary hearing for October 25th at 9 a.m.

While Johnson and Defense Attorney Barr have yet to enter a plea of any kind, Alvarez explains what could take place at next week’s hearing.

“At the preliminary hearing the state has the burden of producing some evidence to demonstrate to the court that there’s probably cause to carry the case over to a jury or bench trial, whatever (the defense) will choose. At that time, I suspect that the defendant, at the conclusion of (the preliminary hearing), if probably cause is found, that they would enter a plea of not guilty and then the matter would be sent to a jury calendar, but that would be up to the defendant,” says Alvarez.

Virginia Police also arrested Johnson’s son, 24-year old Jeremiah Johnson, for alleged mob action in connection to the same incident, which is alleged to have taken place in an alley just outside of East Side Tavern, located in the 100 block of South Main Street in Virginia.

According to Alvarez, Jeremiah Johnson is being tried separately. The 24-year old Johnson was also found indigent, with Judge Hardwick appointing Defense Attorney Timothy Wessel to represent him in the case. Jeremiah Johnson also made his second appearance in Cass County court yesterday, and was also given a preliminary hearing date for October 25th at 9 a.m.