A man charged with murder in the execution-style killing of a 7-year-old boy in 2007 was arraigned in DeKalb County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Willie Edward Kelsey, 32, who was arrested in December 2007 for the murder of Timothy Johnson Jr. Johnson’s sister, Alexus Shepherd, who was 15 at the time, was critically wounded during the shooting.
In addition to murder, Kelsey was charged with aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Johnson and his sister were staying in his grandfather’s home on Toney Drive in Decatur at the time of the shooting.
Shepherd was set to testify the next day about a 2006 home invasion that had occurred at her family’s home in Stone Mountain.
Defense attorney Priya Lakhi said she expected to file motions in the case by Nov. 15 after reviewing the 4,000 pages of information in the case.
During a court appearance in December 2007, then-police chief Terrell Bolton called Kelsey “a monster among us.”
Timothy Johnson Sr., the boy’s father, who attended the arraignment, said the family had hoped to hear some positive news about the case.
“It seems like it’s going to take another couple of years just to start the case really, because the arraignment is only the beginning and it’s already been going on four years,” Johnson said. “It’s much too long.”
“Four years is a long time to deal with the death of my child,” said Timothy’s mother LaMonica Johnson. “I’m ready to put it behind me.”