Press Conference Announcing Johnia Berry’s Accused Murderer

Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J” Jones announced “It was a good day in Knox County.” He then said that 22 year old Taylor Lee Olson of Knoxville had been arrested and charged with the December 2004 murder of Johnia Berry. That the Knox County Grand Jury this morning returned a 7 count presentment for Taylor Olson in the murder of Taylor Olson.

Mark Gwyn of the TBI said “You can not have complete closure without an arrest. I hope the Berry family can now begin the healing process.” This investigation has been “Textbook with cooperation of Knox County Sheriffs Department, forensics and everyone involved, I congratulate everybody”

Knoxville FBI Special Agent Michael McLean informed the media that they were asked by the Knox County Sheriffs Department to assist in apprehending a fugitive. On “Friday September 21, 2007 Mr. Olson was taken into custody at the West Town Shopping Mall.”

Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols said “My thanks to all law enforcement. It is tiresome and frustrating work. The Knox County Grand Jury this morning returned a 7 count presentment on Taylor Olson.” He will soon appear before a Criminal Court Judge to be arraigned.

Sheriff Jones recognized two individuals with the Food City company. John Jones and Emerson Breeden. Food City had placed decals on their Food City trucks and posters in their stores. John Jones thanked the Knox County Sheriffs Department. Sheriff Jones said that the department had received numerous tips from the posters and decals.
Bobby Waggoner, Chief of Detectives of the Knox County Sheriffs Department’s along with Brad Hall, Detective and Amy Lynn Delgado, Detective talked about the time consuming process and hoped that this arrest will give the Berry family some closure.

The Berry family spoke:

Mike said “All along our goal has been to put the person in jail that murdered our little girl.” He talked about the Johnia Berry bill that was passed by the Tennessee legislature and hoped that with the passage of the law that it would be easier for law enforcement. It has been a 33 – 35 month investigation. He thanked Sheriff Jones and the citizens of Knox County.

Joan Berry said “This is a good day. How thankful to God, I am for this day. I am thankful to you for your prayers. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.”

Kelly Burke, Johnia’s brother said “Johnia had the best parents in the world that they have been going for years. Mike and mom have been never given up. You can’t give up. Dan Frye, a man I met locally, his fathers investigation lasted 7 years. I just hope now that my sister can rest in peace.”
Sheriff Jones then acknowledged and credited Former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison and the late Assitant Chief Keith Lyon with their early work on this investigation. Their work began the day the murder occurred in December of 2004.

Sheriff Jones said “Law enforcement is a team effort. If any of our citizens are hurt or wronged. All of these people gathered here will hunt you down.”

Several questions were asked by the media. A few of them were.

Are you confident that he acted alone? The answer. Yes.

Does he have a previous criminal record? The answer. Yes, but not very serious.

How long had he been identified? The answer. He has been a person of interest for 4 -5 months.

To the District Attorney General. Will this be a death penalty case? The answer. We will follow the law and the procedure to make that determination. That decision will be made at the appropriate time.

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know this guy? what is his history? Did he work? or just rob people for a living? It sounds to me like he might have been involved in drugs.
    I’m just glad he can’t hurt anyone else.
    May God be with Jonia’s family and friends.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes i know him. Yes he worked. No is is not a drug addict.

  3. MVS-0295 says:

    We need to stop focusing on this monster and focus on the Berry Family and the nightmare they will continue to endure that is called the criminal justice system.

    Johnia’s murderer has an extensive criminal history beginning as a juvenile. He is a perfect example of why we need to be tougher on so-called first offenders and parole violaters, and have mandatory family counseling and community service for juvenile offenders. Throwing cash at an attorney doesn’t fix the problem, it justs gives a juvenile a chance to see that daddy or mommy’s money can buy them out of trouble so of course it’s not really their fault.
    If you love your kids, TALK TO THEM, spend time with them, be an example to be proud of for them and be honest with them, and yourself.

  4. Whitney says:

    Yes I’ve known him about 7-8 years now. I know he used to be into drugs heavily, but he’s never been a violent natured kid. He lived with me about 5 yrs ago for a couple months. I’ve even saved his life when he overdosed. I know he had to be on something that horrible night. I’m very sorry for the Berry family as well as Taylor. If someone will check his “whole history,” they will know the real Taylor and know that he isn’t just a cold blooded killer, something, someone MADE him do it.