Defense trying to suppress DNA evidence in Johnia Berry murder case

Defense trying to suppress DNA evidence in Johnia Berry murder case

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6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- An attorney has filed a motion Friday to suppress the DNA evidence that helped lead to an arrest in the Johnia Berry murder case.

Taylor Lee Olson, 22, was arrested in September for the 2004 murder of Johnia Berry.

Now, Olson's attorney, Greg Isaacs, has filed a motion in Knox County Criminal Court to suppress the DNA evidence that helped lead investigators to his client.

Isaacs argues the DNA sample collected from Olson was done in violation of his constitutional rights.

Johnia Berry's parents, Joan and Mike Berry, pushed for the 2007 passage of state DNA legislation. In her honor, it was named the Johnia Berry Act. 

The law requires anyone arrested for a violent crime to give a DNA sample. It goes into effect on January 1, 2008.

Isaacs has also filed a motion to request all information the sheriff's office has on Noah Thomas Cox, 24.

The defense is suggesting Cox was at the West Knoxville apartment when Berry was murdered and he could be responsible.

The defense is requesting all photographs, mug shots, DNA testing and written reports that involve Cox. They also want physical evidence including some CDs and covers found at the crime scene that didn't belong to Berry or her roommate.

Noah Cox's criminal history in Knox County includes fighting, theft and drugs and alcohol charges.

In 2005, Cox was convicted of assault. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to auto burglary and evading arrest.

Also in 2006, Cox was arrested on aggravated assault charges, theft over $10,000, evading arrest and numerous other driving violations. He has yet to be convicted of those crimes. 

The Knox Count District Attorney General's Office is in the process of turning over the information the defense has requested. 

Cox is currently serving 18 months in the Knox County Jail.

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