Murder suspect charged after talking about case in jail
(WMC-TV) - The Pali Market at Chelsea and Breedlove has been closed since 68 year-old store owner Fada Zhao was shot and killed in late 2008.
Surveillance video from inside showed a suspect dart around the store before murdering Zhao, wounding his daughter, and attempting to shoot his son.
"We are pleased there is some movement in the case," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich Friday.
She confirmed her office just re-filed charges against 20-year-old prime suspect Evan Johnson three years after charges were dismissed because no one could make a positive identification.
"There was enough information at the time to charge him," said Weirich. "Unfortunately, the landscape changes and did in that case and we were forced to drop the charges," she added.
Weirich said Johnson may have sealed his own fate recently by talking about the case while behind bars for an unrelated rape. Specifically, she said Johnson made incriminating statements during a GED class in jail.
"Even in the cases where we drop charges and then somebody completely different is charged," said Weirich. "There's still that good sense of justice being served for the family."
There was a language barrier with members of the family who lived out the tragedy inside the store, but they were happy to learn the case might soon be closed.