The latest report from the L.A. Weekly on the Scott Joseph Barker murder trial is that the prosecution's key witness, Chie Alexandra Coggins Johnson, may be a pathological liar who is unfairly pinning the crime solely on Barker—her ex-boyfriend.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is accusing Barker of the July 2010 stabbing death of Katsutoshi Tony Takazato in Beverly Hills to avenge the mistreatment of Johnson, who both men had dated.
According to the L.A. Weekly, a Beverly Hills Police Department video of Johnson recorded when she was first arrested may poke holes in her credibility:
At one point, [BHPD Detective George] Elwell asked Johnson if she knew someone called Eddie. Takazato, his live-in housekeeper told police, yelled the name "Eddie" at the time of his vicious murder.
Johnson said she didn't know anyone by that name. Elwell, however, had looked on her Facebook page before the questioning and found a "friend" named Eddie, who was also a friend of Takazato's.
At that point, Elwell placed a picture of Eddie in front of her. Johnson stared at it, and said quietly that she did know him. Caught not telling the truth, Johnson then shut down and soon asked for a lawyer.
Johnson was allegedly pushed into prostitution and porn by Takazato during their relationship to help pay off his gambling debts. After Johnson and Takazato broke up, she began dating Barker. When Barker learned about Takazato's alleged mistreatment of Johnson, which may have included physical abuse, prosecutors say he became enraged, confronted Takazato and stabbed him 58 times in the face, arms, neck, back of the head and heart, the L.A. Weekly reports.
The victim was found dead at about 6 a.m. July 20, 2010, outside his father's home on the 1800 block of Carla Ridge in the exclusive Trousdale Estates neighborhood. L.A. County Coroner Ed Winter had described the murder scene as "very bloody."
Johnson had been charged as an accomplice in the murder with Barker before being prosecuted under the theory of aiding and abetting. She was allegedly with Barker during the commission of the crime. Johnson later pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to five years' probation and a year already served in county jail.
To read the latest L.A. Weekly article on the Scott Joseph Barker murder trial, click here.