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No Evidence She Flicked the BIC

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 6318

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Apr 09 2014 10:43 AM

HOUSTON COUNTY:     There is no evidence that she “flicked the BIC”, is the words of Dothan Attorney Mark Johnson.

A bond hearing was held this morning before District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis in the Attempted Murder and Arson case of Gracie Johnson with the victim Michael Cotter.

It was interesting in the fact that both Johnson and Cotter are currently residing at the Houston County Jail. The hearing was conducted with Johnson and Cotter appearing before the court via closed circuit TV.

The case stems from an April 2, 2014 incident on Dixon Drive in Dothan. Dothan Fire and Dothan Police were called to a mattress fire. On the arrival of the Dothan Fire it was determined to be an arson. Dothan Criminal Investigator Shane Ash was called to the scene along with Fire Marshall Poole and Shiver.

The testimony today revealed that Johnson and Cotter were drinking wine the night prior to the fire. Cotter was reported to have gone to the bathroom and when he returned his medicine was gone. Cotter found his medicine in the purse of Johnson. She left and lives within 5 minutes walking distance of Dixon Drive.

Cotter woke up the next morning to heat. The mattress was on fire. He was not injured and did not require medical attention. Cotter told law enforcement that his wallet and keys were missing and whoever had them started the fire. Cotter also told police that his dog would have woke him up. Cotter believed it to be Johnson because the dog did not bark.

Investigator Ash testified that he located Johnson at her residence. When Johnson was approached she was in the yard. She wanted to go inside and use the bathroom. Ash said only if they followed her inside.

While inside Cotter’s wallet was found in plain view on the bed. His keys with Army dog tag were also found.

Johnson never admitted to the fire. She did state that she attempted to start a candle which was found on the nightstand. The fire was of the box springs and there was no ignition source.

Cotter did tell law enforcement that he smoked in bed. That he smoked two cigarettes in bed but both were extinguished.

Assistant District Attorney Jarod Blumberg told the court that Johnson was violated on a prior criminal offense in 2011 and ended her sentence in 2012 Blumberg told the court that Johnson has 28 prior arrests, 21 of which were felony arrests.

Attorney Mark Johnson told the court that the client had medical issues. That she was not a danger to the community and did well when on her medications.

Judge Lewis is going to take the matter under advisement and issue a ruling.

Johnson is currently in the Houston County Jail on 2 Millions Dollars worth of bonds.

In another matter, Attorney Mark Johnson has asked the court to replace him in this case. Johnson is a former Houston County Sheriff Deputy prior to attending law school. When Johnson was a Deputy Sheriff he arrested the defendant.

Attorney Mark Johnson is a practicing attorney in the firm Parkman and White. An associate attorney, Eric Davis, represents the victim, Michael Cotter. With that in mind Attorney Mark Johnson has asked the court to appoint another attorney to represent the defendant.

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