The man charged in September with the 2014 fatal shooting of Samuel Edwards in Oneco is getting the speedy trial he asked for.
Tavaris “40” Johnson, 29, is charged with second-degree murder with a firearm. If he is convicted, Johnson faces life in prison.
Johnson has been held without bond at the Manatee County jail.
“Your honor, I don’t want to talk about my case, but can I exercise my right to a speedy trial?” Johnson said when he first appeared before a judge in September on the murder charge.
On Thursday morning, Johnson appeared before Circuit Judge Susan Maulucci and despite one delay his trial has been set to begin during the two-week trial period beginning March 13.
At about 6:30 a.m. June 23, 2014, deputies responded to the 5800 block of 11th Street East in Bradenton to reports of a burglary in progress. When they arrived, deputies found an alleged victim who claimed he had been shot. Although, paramedics could not find any gunshot wounds, they transported him to a hospital for a drug-related issue.
On the way to the hospital, the victim told paramedics there was someone else who had been hit in a car. When deputies checked the area. they found Edwards shot dead inside a silver Chevrolet Impala a block over from the location of the burglary.
Edwards had been shot in the neck, left hand and head.
At the time he was charged with Edwards’ death, Johnson had been in jail since Sept. 1, 2015, on unrelated weapons charges.
In that case he is facing of two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated battery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharging a firearm in public and eight counts of violation of a domestic injunction. Johnson is also currently set to stand trial in those charges as well as an unrelated armed home invasion during the same two-week trial period beginning March 13.