Ex-Tennessee linebacker Johnson seeking separate trial

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson is seeking a separate trial from suspended Volunteers cornerback Michael Williams as both men face aggravated rape charges.

Lawyers representing Johnson filed a motion Friday asking to sever the trials of the two defendants. The motion says Williams “made out of court statements referencing Mr. Johnson” and indicates the statements shouldn’t be admissible against Johnson.

Johnson’s attorney, Tom Dillard, said in a statement that “it is not out of the ordinary in criminal cases to seek separate trials when multiple persons are charged, given the rules of evidence and constitutional issues involved.”

Johnson and Williams were indicted in February after being named as suspects in a rape investigation and suspended from the team in November. Johnson has graduated and completed his eligibility.