Jury selection to start in 2005 beauty salon slayings case

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A trial is expected to start for a St. Louis man charged in the 2005 stabbing deaths of three people at a southwestern Illinois beauty salon.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that jury selection will begin Monday in St. Clair County.

Samuel L. Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in the killings of 79-year-old Doris Fischer, 82-year-old Dorothy Bone and 62-year-old hairdresser Michael Cooney in Belleville. Their bodies were found in Cooney’s home-based salon. Fischer and Bone were sisters.

The 52-year-old Johnson was charged in 2016.

He had been arrested days after the killings, but was only charged with an attempted burglary of Cooney’s home in 2003. Prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him with murder. Belleville police reinitiated an investigation in 2014.