The murder trial against a former Dominguez High School football star, who was once one of the most heavily recruited running backs on the West Coast, is scheduled to begin next week, court staff said Monday.
Brandon Johnson, 24, and his two co-defendants Melvin Davis, 20, and Rakeem Williams, 19, are each charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of 18-year-old Dajon Daniels.
The three defendants appeared at the Long Beach Superior Court Monday for a pretrial hearing and were ordered to return on Jan. 14. Their trial is scheduled to start that same week, court staff said.
In addition to the murder charges, the three men also face allegations that the slaying was carried out to benefit their gang.
Daniels was gunned down in June 2011 as he left a party in the 100 block of East 56th Street in North Long Beach. Davis and Williams were arrested the following month.
Johnson, a former University of Washington football player who moved to Las Vegas, N.M., to play for Highlands University, was arrested by New Mexico authorities.
Johnson was a running back at Dominguez High in Compton and was on the 2005 CIF Southern Section Division Championship team. He was also named the Press-Telegram's Dream Team Offensive Player of the Year before he committed to playing for the University of Washington.
He and his co-defendants now face the possibility of life in prison if convicted on all counts, authorities said.
- Tracy Manzer