January 28, 2014
A jury has been selected and opening statements are expected Monday afternoon for a Hampton man charged with killing a 73-year-old man in 2012.
Darren Johnson, 46, is charged with murder, abduction, robbery and carjacking in the death of Tommy Alley. Alley, of Newport News, was found dead March 7, 2012 in a vacant home on Eastmoreland Drive after being reported missing by his son Feb. 22.
His body was found in a bathroom with duct tape over his mouth and nose. He died from asphyxiation and blunt force trauma to his chest and head, according to court testimony presented during Johnson’s preliminary hearing last year.
Johnson’s trial is set for Monday and Tuesday in Hampton Circuit Court.
Last year Johnson’s trial ended in a mistrial because of a statement made by his attorney. During his opening statement Johnson’s defense attorney said that if the jury convicted him of the charges he faces, it would “basically end his life.” In Virginia, the amount of prison time a defendant faces is disclosed to the jury only if they return a guilty verdict.
A second defendant, Wanda Dobbins, 43, is also charged with murder, abduction, robbery and carjacking in the death of Alley. Dobbin’s trial is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.