Belleville triple murder case on hold while attorneys appeal jud -

Belleville triple murder case on hold while attorneys appeal judge's ruling

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(Credit: Police) (Credit: Police)

ST. LOUIS ( -- The murder trial of Samuel Johnson was postponed Tuesday after prosecuting attorneys appealed a judge’s ruling about a specific piece of evidence.

Johnson, 51, is charged with three counts of murder for the 2005 stabbing deaths of Michael Cooney, Dorothy Bone, and Doris Fischer.

Cooney was a hair stylist operating out of his home and Bone (82), and Fischer (79), who were sisters, were there on an appointment.

All three were found murdered in the home.

Johnson was arrested and charged with attempted burglary more than a year before the killings when he allegedly kicked in the door of Cooney’s home. He also reportedly came to Cooney’s house four days before the killings and demanded money.

When the bodies were discovered, prosecutors suspected Johnson but said there was not enough evidence to charge him with murder at the time of the arrest.

The triple murder was one of the most gruesome killings in Belleville history, and authorities have been working to solve the case for more than a decade.

In 2010 a different suspect, Darrelle Lane, was tried and acquitted for the murders.

In 2016, Johnson was charged with the murders and jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday.

However, after the trial judge’s ruling that prosecutors could not use a specific piece of evidence, the trial is on hold while an appellate court reviews the ruling.

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