Taylor Olson's lawyer says letters identify other suspect in Berry death

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Johnia Berry's accused killer takes his own life, leaving behind letters saying he did not commit the murder.

Now there are new questions about the investigation and what may be next.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt has more.

Taylor Lee Olson's attorney held a news conference this afternoon.

He stopped short of saying who his client accused of murder in his dying letters, but Johnia's mother says she's satisfied that Olson was responsible.

Taylor Lee Olson last spoke to us when he was first taken into custody.

"It was an accident."

But now, after his death, he is speaking again through letters he left behind.

Greg Isaacs, Olson's attorney says, "he has identified an individual that he says is responsible for the death of Johnia Berry."

Isaacs would not tell us who Olson named in his letter.

Olson is the only one charged with the crime.

He's been jailed since September on first degree murder and aggravated robbery charges.

The Sheriff's department says in a statement published on it's website that he was held in a cell alone.

Officers checked on him every hour.

Before 1:00 a.m. they found him with a piece of sheet around his neck, hanging from a clothes hook in the corner of his cell.

Joan Berry, Johnia's mother says, "I feel cheated I guess. You know we have a lot of questions that we'll never have answered."

Johnia's mother Joan Berry says she has mixed emotions, knowing that her family was spared the agony of a trial, and feeling Olson should not have been able to end this on his terms.

"He left instructions on the way he wanted his funeral and songs he wanted sang and how he wanted things done. My daughter didn't get to do anything like that. She didn't even get to tell us goodbye."

Berry says based on the DNA, she's confident Olson was responsible for the murder.

The District Attorney General's special counsel, John Gill, told us if there is anything to investigate, they will investigate it, but they won't make further comment until they confer with the victim's family.

Joan Berry has says her family will be talking to prosecutors, hoping to get answers to some of those lingering questions she mentioned.

There's no word yet on exactly when that may happen, but she says she's scheduled to be in Knoxville April 13 when she''ll take part in an event to help victims of crime.

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  • by Court Location: Knoxville on Oct 31, 2011 at 03:59 AM
    Isaac all you know is nothing obviously!Taylor was definatly not the killer...he didnt take a cowards way out...Taylor was far from a coward. Like he said in his letter he wasnt gonna do another day for something he didnt do. So you should probally get your facts straight before you open your mouth!
  • by isaac Location: johnson city on Sep 27, 2011 at 03:51 AM
    all i know is that he killed one of my best friends there was DNA to prove it so all of you shut up!He is a killer and is dead because he took the cowards way out.
  • by Unknown Location: knoxville on Aug 14, 2009 at 10:06 PM
    I can't believe Noah's getting away w/ murder again. I've known all 3 of those boys for more than 10yrs. I know them better than most. I know their life stories, their thoughts, their fears. I know what happened in 2002 and now. Why can't he be stopped. It's only going to happen again.
  • by hay Location: Knxville on May 6, 2008 at 10:21 PM
    Thats what i don't understand. If the roommate saw the killer well enough to tell the sketch artist wouldn't you think he would care to help find the killer of his friend. I understand he moves because they were trying to say it was him at first but come on. Wouldn't you want to put the real killer behind bars and help all these family's that have been going threw so much? He's gone and didn't do it because of the guilt of killing someone. He did it because he didn't want his family and his son to go threw all of the hell we would have had to go threw for along time, and he just couldn't handle it anymore.
  • by Tina Location: Knoxville on Mar 25, 2008 at 12:04 PM
    Noah Cox!! Of course he identified the guilty party in all this. Noah has been responsibe for more than 1 death in Knoxville and it's sad that our Distrct Attorney is too afraid to prosecute . Why has he never been prosecuted for any of his more serious crimes? It clearly stated in a News Sentinel article 11/18/07 that Noah was involved in a murder in '02 and charges were never brought against him. I guess if they had prosecuted him back then the Berry's would still have their daughter.
  • by Kim Location: Knoxville on Mar 25, 2008 at 10:17 AM
    During all this, where is the roommate? Surely he has some input in all this. After all he was there and stabbed too. He is rarely mentioned. Why is he not helping put the pieces together in all this? Seems strange.
  • by pepper Location: knoxville on Mar 25, 2008 at 05:54 AM
    the clothes hook shouldnt be strong enough to hold that much weight....
  • by THANK YOU Location: back woods on Mar 24, 2008 at 10:03 AM
    Thank you for saving me money to keep you up. sileo in pacis,,Johnia


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