New trial date in Joshua Phillips murder case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The man accused in the December 2020 shooting death of Charleston police officer Cassie Johnson won’t go on trial until later this year.

Joshua Phillips

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey rescheduled the trial for Joshua Phillips to March 28 in a brief video hearing held Monday morning in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Phillips, 29, shot Johnson during an altercation that occurred on Dec. 1, 2020, when Johnson responded to a parking complaint on Garrison Avenue. She died a few days later.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin Monday.

Defense attorney Ronni Sheets told Bailey the defense needed the additional time in connection with an expert its hired related to a change of venue motion.

“Based upon their schedule we need to continue this case past this trial date,” Sheets said.

Officer Cassie Johnson

Kanawha County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Don Morris did not object.

“Judge, it was our position at the pre-trial that we were ready for trial but we understood it would probably be error not to allow an expert on change of venue, so we’re not resisting,” Morris said.

Bailey was agreeing to grant the motion to move the trial “for good cause and without objection.”

Bailey set a pre-trial hearing for March 15 for the March 28 trial.

Phillips remains held without bail in the South Central Regional Jail.