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December 2006
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New Twists in the Kathryn Johnston case

There have been some additional developments in the case in Atlanta. New information shows that Fabian Sheets (who had been arrested for drugs and was trying to “cooperate”) gave the police Johnston’s address (whether that was a mistaken address or he was just making it up, we don’t know). The police then screwed up royally.
Radley puts it all together in the only way that makes sense:

The pieces fit together like this: This raid was conducted based on nothing more than a tip from Sheats, a convicted drug felon who was looking for leniency. For whatever reason, he sent police to Johnston’s home. The narcotics officers then hid behind the anonymity courts afford to informants, and fabricated the stuff about the buy. They took a shortcut. When the raid went bad, they chased down an informant they’d used in the past — White — and asked him to lie to cover their asses, just as White says they did.
Even worse, it now looks like they were willing to intimidate him if he didn’t cooperate. …

This case isn’t going to go away. The press in Atlanta is pursuing it. The feds are investigating, and national bloggers are staying on top of it. And police chief Pennington seems to be doing all the right things in calling for full investigations. Atlanta may see some positive change out of this, and Kathryn Johnston’s death may actually have some meaning.

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