Lawyer challenges photo series used to identify minor in sneaker robbery
WILKES-BARRE – A lawyer for Dwayne Quamir Johnson, charged for his role in an armed robbery of two pairs of high-priced sneakers, challenges a series of police photos that were used to identify him by the alleged victim .
Johnson, then 17, was charged as an adult by Wilkes-Barre police when he allegedly conspired with another minor to steal two pairs of Nike Air Jordan sneakers worth $200 each on 20th Oct, 2020. Police say a gun was used during the alleged robbery and the person selling the sneakers was whipped with a gun, court records show.
Johnson’s attorney, Cheryl A. Sobeski-Reedy, filed a motion to have the series of photos shown by police to the alleged victim deleted.
Sobeski-Reedy says police posted an Instagram photo, showing two youths wearing sneakers after the alleged robbery, on their Facebook page asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
After police identified one of the suspects, a series of photos were presented to the alleged victim, who selected Johnson from the display of photographs.
Sobeski-Reedy in her motion claims the alleged victim had seen the Instagram photo before and was “predisposed to select Mr. Johnson.”
Additionally, Sobeski-Reedy claimed the alleged victim said the suspects had braids in their hair and that none of the photos in the show, including Johnson, contained braids.
Sobeski-Reedy wrote in the motion that the alleged victim’s selection of Johnson’s photo was an “interracial identification” and “was highly suggestive and prejudicial to (Johnson)”.
Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky has scheduled a hearing on Sobeski-Reedy’s motion for Feb. 4.
Johnson’s trial is scheduled for March 21.
An Upper Echelon employee on Northampton Street, Wilkes-Barre, told police he arranged to sell two pairs of Jordan sneakers for $200 each. One pair was a green and black top while the other top was black and yellow.
The owner arranged to meet the two men on Susquehanna Street where he claimed he was robbed of the sneakers and whipped the gun, according to court records.