KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — The man accused of killing a woman and putting her body down a mine well on his property in 2021 has asked for his jail phone calls to be tossed out as evidence on Wednesday.
Michael Smith is being charged with murder in connection to the 2021 death of Cheyenne Johnson.
Smith appeared in court Wednesday morning and said using his phone calls as evidence violated his privacy. The judge disagreed saying only calls with his lawyer are confidential.
His defense also wanted the jury to hear from his alibi, saying the State failed to give exact dates and times for the crimes he’s accused of. However, the State says they’ve already confirmed the dates and times they need.
Johnson’s body was found in a well in the Sissonville area on Monday, May 3, 2021. Authorities said she had been missing since the previous Thursday. The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that identified the body as Johnson through tattoos. At the time her body was recovered, deputies said they believed Johnson died the same day she went missing.
After Michael Smith’s arrest, a second suspect was also arrested in Johnson’s death. Virginia Smith, who is not related to Michael Smith, was charged with murder in the case. At the time of her arrest, Kanawha County deputies say a juvenile witness told them they saw her shoot Johnson herself. She took a plea deal and faces life in prison, but she can’t be sentenced until Michael Smith’s trial is over, since she is ordered to testify as a part of the plea.