Cortez Oliver trial: Gregory Johnson testimony

For those of you unwilling to pay for the Record-Courier “exclusive story” (which Secret Blog Reporter gets), this is your news opportunity

Today we heard testimony from Lt. Gregory Johnson, Chief of Detective Bureau..

On the night of the crime, he was called at home at 2:40 AM, and was at the hospital within a half hour, while Detective Akland stayed at the crime scene. Johnson found Lowther immobilized on a backboard with a neck brace, in pain and having trouble breathing.. Detective Nicolio called from Giant Eagle; Johnson went there ca. 4 AM.  He allowed Darrell Dukes to leave there, as he would be easy to pick up later, but impounded the car. He photographed it there. (It had temporary tags… Secret Blog Reporter says that temporary tags usually mean trouble.) He photographed Jodi’s purse at the office. He talked to Jodi, her 2nd interview, still evasive.

At 6Am, Cortez came for his keys. Johnson told Akland to bring him back for a statement; their strategy was to keep him talking and laughing. He was wearing work boots and had a flippant attitude.  They told him he was under arrest…then he started pumping the police for information. He said he’d been listening to the police scanner in Kent, and mentioned that he had quite a few lady friends. They Mirandized him, and then over the next 90 minutes he began to discuss his involvement. He admitted that he had entered the house and taken the coins, had made eye contact with Lowther who then screamed. The detectives blamed Jonny for the beating, to keep Cortez from becoming defensive.

They played a tape of this interview. Cortez was wearing the same boots and clothes he had on at Tallmadge Rd.  He got confrontational, claiming that he was late for work and had to get to Solon, and needed the key to get into his stepsister Doreca’s home to get the rest of his clothes. He was asked about the grass on his boots; he claimed the radiator on his truck was leaky and he had to keep filling it. When asked what he did last night, and why he was at Giant Eagle, he said they were confused, and asked who Jodi was. He claimed he’d been kicking with DD at his downtown Kent party, then had slept at Philip Dukes’ home on Blake St. “I’ll probably get fired, I’m late for work. Can I get my keys back please, Mr. Sheriff Man?’  The cop said, “I’ve got an old guy in the hospital with the living shit beat out of him. Jonny beat him up.” They told Cortez he was looking at a felony I, good for 20 years., and Cortez said, “I can’t have a Felony 1 ; I want to go to truck-driving school! Can you get into the Army with an F1?”

“I’ve got to arrest you.”

“Ah, come up, I got no residence, nobody to bail me out. This is hurtful, I got no lawyer. What black don’t smoke blunts? We don’t use pile or roll. I got to go to court July 7 on it. Can you guys pull something? Can I sign something? How much do you think my bail will be? Can I get PR bond?”

“I don’t f***ing think so!”

(End of tape…back to questioning Johnson)

Lowther had a security camera outside on the porch…BUT IT WASN’T TURNED ON.  Lowther had said at the hospital that Jodi looked familiar. [There’s been a rumor in R-C comments that Lowther was one of Jodi’s pole-dance clients and had violated opsec in that context.-JAQ]

On Aug. 5, Johnson took DD for a ride. DD showed him the two routes  they took that night, and the embankment of Tallmadge where they got out. He showed where they had hid the box of coins; there was a trail of coins leading to it.  Det. Akland went back and got it. On Aug. 7, DD showed more…they took the canine unit out and found more coins as well as a gym bag that Lowther’s son said did not belong to his father.. Pictures were shown of the coins resting in a bed of periwinkle (one of Secret Blog Reporter’s favorite flowers)

There was only DDs own blood on his shirt, no fingerprints recovered, no trauma to hands. His book didn’t match the boot print on Lowther.. Jonny admitted that he might have stepped on Lowther while fleeing from the neighbor Cortez never said that Jonny hurt Lowther. Cortez was careful with information…first admitted spending the night with DD, then admitted being on the property but not in the house, then admitted being in the house but didn’t do anything.

Testimony: Kristy LaPerry RN, Robinson Memorial Hospital, emergency 7-3:30 shift.  First nurse at Lowther’s side, even before police. He said he felt as if he were drowning, that he’d been knocked down, sat on, and his head twisted. He came in ca. 3:10 and she didn’t leave until 5.

Next witness: Dr. John Gusz. (At this point Secret Blog Reporter had to leave.)

Report compiled by JAQ from notes taken by Secret Blog Reporter, who is taking the day off tomorrow. …at which point the prosecution is expected to rest. She tells me that The Well Doctor is also on the list of witnesses to be called…which may clarify a few things.

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