Supporters of convicted murderers call for their release from prison, saying they’re innocent

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Friends and family of Lorenzo Johnson and Corey Walker, who are serving life sentences after being convicted of a 1995 Harrisburg murder, rallied outside the Pa. Attorney General's Office Friday calling for their release from prison.

A jury found Johnson and Walker guilty in the shooting death of Tarajay Williams. At the time, investigators said the shooting happened as a result of a fight over a drug debt.

Family members of Johnson and Walker say police accused the wrong men.

"Lorenzo, like he said, he's never considered himself a lifer, ever. So, that keeps me going. He won't be there the rest of his life, but he'll be home soon with his loved ones where he belongs," said Johnson's wife, Tazza Salvatto.

In 2012, Johnson was released from prison after a panel of federal appeals judges determined the evidence was not strong enough to convict him. Johnson has maintained he wasn't in Harrisburg the night of the shooting. His attorney argues the case was built around unreliable witnesses, including some who allegedly gave false testimony after being coerced by police.

Johnson returned to his home in New York for about five months. The Attorney General appealed the decision to release him to the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation's highest court ordered him to be locked up once again.

The Attorney General's Office, now led by Kathleen Kane, has been investigating the claims for about a year. The office was due to respond to the claims Friday. However, the AG sought an additional 30-day extension after learning Johnson's lawyer brought forth new evidence in a court filing Wednesday.

"For 19 years, I've been saying the same thing, that I was innocent, that I wasn't there. The false evidence has been mounting from day one, like, the whole case has fallen apart and the truth is out. So, I don't understand why I'm still in prison," said Johnson.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Kane declined our request for an interview.


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