UPDATE: Authorities searching for 2015 shooting victim who ignored an order to testify

UPDATE: Authorities searching for 2015 shooting victim who ignored an order to testify

August 16th, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Breaking News

This is a developing story.

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UPDATE: An investigator said she's spoken with Johnson on the phone since the warrant was issued, but he won't come in.


ORIGINAL STORY: Chattanooga authorities are looking for a 20-year-old man who disobeyed a court order to testify against the man charged with shooting him.

Prosecutors said they planned to call Kadarius Johnson to the witness stand this week because he gave information to the police that helped led to the arrest of Osei Sorrell on Sept. 23, 2015.

Sorrell is accused of firing at Johnson from the behind the wheel of a white SUV during a car chase that started in East Chattanooga and wound through the North Shore. Because Johnson gave a description of his shooter and his shooter's vehicle, court records show, prosecutors wanted to call him at Sorrell's trial, which started Tuesday.

Kadarius Johnson

Kadarius Johnson

Photo by right2know.timesfreepress.com

"I personally served Kadarius Johnson with a subpoena on Aug. 10, 2017, at the Hamilton County Probation Office," an investigator for state prosecutors wrote. "Said subpoena instructed Mr. Johnson to personally appear in Hamilton County Criminal Court on Aug. 15, 2017, at 1:30 p.m."

A subpoena is a court document that requires someone to report to court as a witness.

 But come Tuesday afternoon at 1:30, Johnson was nowhere to be found, prompting prosecutors to seek a warrant for his arrest.

Defense attorney Joshua Weiss, who is representing Sorrell, said prosecutors barely spoke about Johnson during opening statements for a reason.

"Because there's no motive in this case, there's no nexus," Weiss said. "Kadarius Johnson says, 'I've never that man before in my life.' At previous court hearings, when he was looking Mr. Sorrell in the face, he says, 'I've never seen him before.'"

Prosecutors haven't solely relied on Johnson's testimony to make their case so far. Using a combination of 911 calls, officers and witnesses who described the car shoot-out, they have painted a picture of what happened Sept. 23, 2015. Prosecutors are also expected to a call a ballistics expert who will testify that a .22-caliber shell casing recovered from the scene matched the .22-caliber gun that police found under Sorrell's driver seat.

Chattanooga officer John Luker said he spotted a white SUV with large rims at the corner of 4th Avenue and High Street after the department released a "be on the lookout" alert for it. Sorrell, who was sitting alone in the car, said he didn't have any guns and consented to a search, Luker said.

Sorrell was arrested after officers located a couple of magazines, some $100 bills and a .22-caliber semi-automatic gun, which Luker said he found tucked near the gas pedal.

"He got real nervous at that point," Luker said.

Weiss told jurors Sorrell had a concealed carry permit for the firearm, which he forgot was in the car. Weiss can't put on any evidence until prosecutors finish presenting their case. But so far, he has pointed out some of the state's witnesses gave inconsistent testimony about the car chase.

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