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The murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson in Danbury...

By
JAMES V. HEALION

DANBURY, Conn. -- The murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson in Danbury Superior Court has been recessed until Tuesday because of the inability of a witness to appear Friday to testify.

Johnson's sister, Wanda, 15, was ready to take the stand but was unable to be accompanied by a guardian from her home in Bridgeport to the courthouse in Danbury, said State's Attorney Walter D. Flanagan.

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Johnson, 20, is on trial for the Feb. 16 fatal stabbing of his friend and landlord Alan Bono, 40, a Brookfield kennel manager.

Johnson's defense attorney, Martin Minnella of Waterbury, also raised the possibility on Friday his client might testify on his own behalf when the defense opens its casesometime next week.

'It is likely,' Minnella told reporters outside the courthouse, that Johnson would testify because 'the state's evidence is rather shallow.'

Earlier in the day, Dr. Henry Lee, chief of the state police forensic laboratory, testified the blood and hair found on Johnson's folding knife were similar to Bono's blood and hair types.

Lee said blood from the folding knife and a sample from the victim were Group O. He also said there were eight or nine hair characteristics that were comparable to the victim's hair characteristics.

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A perfect match in the case of blood or hair is scientifically impossible, said assistant state's attorney Richard Arconti.

Another specialist suggested that although Bono may have done the bulk of the drinking the day he was slain, Johnson was probably legally intoxicated at the time of the killing.

Dr. Abraham Stolman, the state's chief toxicologist, said there was a heavy concentration of alcohol in Bono's blood when a sample was taken at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at Danbury Hospital.

He said the blood registered 0.33 percent, compared to the 0.10 percent standard applied in driving while intoxicated cases.

The reading suggested Bono had drunk three times the amount of wine consumed by Johnson.

Johnson's alcohol level, taken more than four hours after Bono's death, was 0.03 percent, which is below the state standard but was most likely greater at the time Bono was killed about 6:30 p.m.

The prosecution has suggested Johnson allegedly killed Bono in a jealous rage after the two spent an afternoon drinking together in the company of Johnson's live-in girlfriend, Debbie Glatzel, 27, who worked at Bono's kennels as a groom.

Minnella tried to argue Johnson was possessed by demons when Bono was killed. However, Judge Robert Callahan has ruled there was no such legal defense and he would not accept it.

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