Corey Walker and Lorenzo Johnson were convicted for the December 1995 murder of Tarajay Williams.
On August 5, 2013, Johnson’s new attorney, Michael Wiseman filed a third PCRA petition for a new trial, this time presenting “a case of actual innocence.” The filing contains new sworn affidavits from a police detective, from people who had knowledge of the murder and the real killer(s), evidence that Johnson was “not in Harrisburg the night Williams was killed” but rather New York, and “newly discovered information” discrediting witnesses’ testimonies.
In fact, there were no witnesses to the murder. In addition, Carla Brown, the main prosecution witness, was a confirmed drug addict who had motive to testify in order to secure favorable treatment from the police and had initially provided to police multiple versions of the events. It was discovered that police “worked on” her for months until she gave them the version of events that were propounded at trial. Carla Brown now admits that she lied at trial. Other witnesses admit they were coerced into lying or staying silent, threatened by detectives with being falsely charged with crimes or promised leniency. For example, witness Brian Ramsey stated in a post-conviction affidavit that he falsely testified to seeing Johnson outside the bar that night, and that he only saw Walker in the crowd: “I actually never saw Mr. Johnson.” New evidence points to the actual perpetrators, as those who were previously held as witnesses are in fact now suspects.
In July 2017, Johnson was freed after a plea deal was agreed.