Trial for man accused in San Antonio firefighter’s death not expected to begin until early next year

Emond Johnson in court Wednesday for motion hearing

SAN ANTONIO – Defense motions were granted Wednesday in the case against Emond Johnson, who allegedly set fire to his gym that spread to other businesses and killed San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem.

Firefighter Bradd Phipps was also seriously injured while responding to the fire.

Investigators believe Johnson intentionally set the fire because he was behind on paying rent and was about to lose the lease on his gym.

Defense attorney Miguel Najera filed motions requesting witnesses and evidence be presented to the defense before trial.

Judge Jefferson Moore, with the 186th Criminal District Court, granted the motions. This is a common type of hearing before a case goes to trial.

The prosecution stated they have a couple of hundred people on their witness list but are hoping to bring that number down.

Because of the pandemic and no jury trials happening right now, this trial is expected to begin early next year.

Johnson is facing several charges including murder and arson.

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About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.