Trial set for co-defendant in Ledbetter murder case


Alexis Johnson (center) is handcuffed in Livingston County Circuit Court, after learning she must spend 30 days in jail for a violation of her bond. Johnson, standing next to defense attorney Emily Roark, is charged with hindering prosecution or apprehension relating to the murder charge against Tyler Jones in the death last summer of Peyton Hurt.

SMITHLAND -- The woman accused of lying to authorities in a murder investigation last year will stand trial the same day as the murder suspect, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Alexis Johnson, 21, faces one count of first-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution regarding the June shooting of Boaz teen Peyton Hurt.

Tyler Jones, 20, is charged with murder, and investigators said at the time that Johnson made false statements regarding Jones' actions.

Law enforcement testified at a previous hearing that multiple eyewitnesses saw Jones shoot Hurt in the head at close range, and Jones' former defense attorney admitted at the time that his client pulled the trigger, but said the facts of the case supported a lesser homicide charge.

Jones is set for a jury trial on Oct. 17, and Circuit Judge C.A. "Woody" Woodall set Johnson's trial for the same date.

Woodall also sanctioned Johnson's bond Wednesday, due to her being charged in Marshall County with unlawful transaction with a minor.

Johnson had been out on bond, with conditions including not being charged criminally in any further cases and not consuming alcohol.

Kentucky State Trooper John Holt testified in Livingston County Circuit Court Wednesday that he responded to a house in Marshall County in January where minors and alcohol were present.

Holt testified Johnson appeared to have been drinking, based on his observation that she was slurring her speech and other physical indicators.

When troopers entered the home, they found Johnson in a bed underneath the covers, fully clothed with her shoes on, Holt said.

Holt said she showed signs of having consumed alcohol, though he did not administer a sobriety test or a breathalyzer. Defense Attorney Emily Roark said Johnson received a deferred prosecution agreement in Marshall County on that charge, that no minors at that house were charged with alcohol possession, and that charges against other individuals had also been dropped. She argued that no evidence in that case indicated her client gave alcohol to anyone underage, and referenced medication Johnson was taking as a possible source of symptoms mimicking alcohol intoxication.

Woodall did not make a ruling regarding the alleged alcohol use, but said Johnson's receiving the charge constituted a clear violation of her bond conditions.

He sanctioned her bond for 60 days, but suspended half of that, meaning Johnson must spend 30 days in jail and remain on good behavior for the other 30 days to remain suspended.

Johnson is set to appear for a pretrial conference on Aug. 21, while Jones is next set to appear on June 19.

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