UPDATE: (4 P.M. June 6, 2022) — Court proceedings in the trial of Joshua Phillips have ended for the day, today Monday, June 6, 2022. Proceedings will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 7.
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Opening arguments began Monday, June 6, in the case of a man accused of killing a Charleston police officer, and witnesses have begun taking the stand.
On Monday morning, the court chose 14 jurors, two of whom will be alternates.
Before the final selection was made from that group, the attorney for Joshua Phillips again made a motion for a change of venue, claiming he cannot get a fair trial due to the public’s familiarity with the case.
Judge Jennifer Bailey again denied that motion stating that it was not whether the jurors were aware of the case, but if they were able to remain impartial and render a verdict based on the evidence in court. Bailey says to make her decision, she used other cases from across the state where publicity and public knowledge and opinion have come into question of whether the defendant was able to receive a fair trial in the county where the case occurred.
Phillips is accused of shooting and killing CPD Patrolman Cassie Johnson in December 2020. Johnson was shot in the line of duty while responding to a parking complaint on Dec. 1, 2020, and died of her injuries on Dec. 3, 2020.
Phillips’ trial was previously scheduled to start back in March 2022, however, Judge Jennifer Bailey said at that time there were not enough jurors available to begin the trial. Judge Bailey also ruled that the case will remain in Kanawha County following a change of venue request from the defense.