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Convicted murderer owes money to McDuffie court after filing appeal

Convicted murderer Michael Samuel Johnson owes McDuffie County money.

The amount owed is $574, according to court records. The bill, which is owed to the McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk's Office, has remained unpaid since Mr. Johnson had his defense attorney file the document in hopes of getting a new trial. The motion for a new trial was denied earlier this year by Toombs Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Roger W. Dunaway, Jr.

As of last Tuesday, Mr. Johnson still owed the clerk's office that amount of money, according to Deputy Clerk Amy Clark.

Toombs Judicial Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Durwood R. Davis filed a motion asking that a judge sign an order dismissing Mr. Johnson's appeal.

"In both civil and criminal trials, OCGA 5-6-48 grants a trial court the discretionary authority to dismiss an appeal if there has been an unreasonable delay in the transmission of the record to the appellate court and it is seen that the delay was inexcusable and was caused by the failure of a party to pay costs in the trial court or file an affidavit of indigence."

Mr. Johnson's attorney, Brian Steele, whose office is in Atlanta, recently was sent a copy of the court document concerning the amount owed to the clerk's office.

He was convicted of murdering 36-year-old Todd Brooks, a husband, father and businessman in McDuffie County, following a four-day trial last year in McDuffie County Superior Court. Today, Mr. Johnson is serving a life sentence in prison for the shooting death of Mr. Brooks.

Web posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009

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