CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A relative of a triple murder suspect has been arrested on obstructing justice in connection with attempted jury tampering, according to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department.
Lasandra G. Johnson, 37, is the aunt of Douglas Shine, Jr. Johnson is accused of approaching the family of a juror about Shine's ongoing murder trial.
Johnson was arrested Friday morning by Sheriff's deputies after evading law enforcement authorities for several days. Lasandra Johnson is the sister of Leslie Johnson, the mother of Shine..
Defendant Shine is on trial for a triple homicide at a Warrensville barber shop in February 2015, the subsequent murder of a witness to that crime and other violent offenses.
Shine ,21, is charged with aggravated murder and other counts in the deaths of Walter Lee Barfield, 23, William Gonzalez, 32, and Brandon White Ladson, 31. Gonzalez was the owner of the barber shop. Three other people were injured.
He could get the death penalty.
Shine is also accused of arranging the June 4, 2015 murder of Aaron "Pudge" Ladson, 32, whose brother was killed at Chalk Linez, and of attempting to murder two other people by firing bullets into an occupied house and a school.
Officials have said that Shine is part of the Heartless Felons gang and that the shooting was gang-related.
The trial was interrupted for a day last week after a distraught juror reported, to others on the jury and then to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg, that the defendant's aunt had pressured her adult daughter as she dropped off her children at a Cleveland school. The juror lives with her daughter and grandchildren.
Judge Synenberg then had to dismiss the juror. Judge Synenberg also rejected a motion for a mistrial from Shine's defense team.
"The integrity of our criminal judicial system depends on the ability of jurors to hear evidence and reach a verdict free of outside influence," said Joseph Frolik, director of communications and public policy for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. "No one can be permitted to pressure or intimidate jurors or their families."
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