Man charged in murder of BPD officer retains Salvagio as defense attorney

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The man charged with capital murder in the shooting death of an off-duty Birmingham police officer has retained defense attorney Charles Salvagio, according to court records.

Now, Salvagio is seeking bond for his client, Patrick Johnson.

In the capital murder case facing Patrick Johnson, court records show that Salvagio electronically filed motions for bond, discovery, and a full recordation of all proceedings in Jefferson County District Court on May 10.

Patrick Johnson is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of off-duty Birmingham Police Officer Keary Hollis on May 12, 2014, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

Specifically, Johnson is charged with capital murder by shooting into a car, according to Salvagio.

Court records indicate that Salvagio has also filed a Motion to Preserve all Video Evidence, a Defendants Motion for Discovery, and a Capital Murder – Motion for Bond.

“In a capital murder case, if it’s not a death case, and this is not a death case, then he’s entitled to some sort of bond by law,” said Salvagio. “They’re not seeking the death penalty. It’s a case that could be life without parole, but it’s not. They’re not seeking death here. There is no indication that it was known that he was a police officer or I’m sure that the district attorney’s office would have charged the death of a police officer which would have been a death case.

“I will tell you that he’s a very defendable man. You know we’re just going to have to see.”

Court records show that in 2007, Johnson was charged with possession of a pistol without a license and possession of a controlled substance, but both cases were dismissed.

“From what I understand about those cases there was a pill found in a car and he was in, the wife had left a pill in the car and they dismissed the case because it was really a misunderstanding, more than anything else,” Salvagio said. “He has no prior record. I mean, he’s a working man, been working at the wastewater treatment plant for a long time. He has three children that are teenage children. He’s just a good outstanding citizen that would not be in this position had certain things not have happened, but we’ll get to that later.

“It is a touchy case. It’s not the type of case normally that I would take, but after speaking with him I’m, I believe in his innocence. And I, he doesn’t have any prior record whatsoever and he has a defense. And we’ll just have to see. We’re looking forward to our day in court.”

On Tuesday, Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper spoke to WIAT 42 News about his perspective on the suspect.

“At this point in time, it’s difficult to say exactly what type of person the suspect is. He’s had some minor run-ins with the law previously, but what we do know is on that night a minor accident should not have resulted in someone’s death. And we’ve got to work through that. We believe we have the right person in custody and so we’re now looking for the criminal justice system to do its job,” Roper said.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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