KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has denied the state's bid to appeal a ruling that permits attorneys for former Tennessee football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams to seek social media communications from witnesses for their upcoming rape trials.
This ruling enables lawyers to pursue those communications by issuing subpoenas to witnesses, including the woman who says Johnson and Williams raped her on November 2014.
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in April that "the state lacks standing to challenge the subpoenas" issued to witnesses. Prosecutors appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.
Trial dates for Johnson and Williams have been moved multiple times while this issue was debated. Johnson and Williams were indicted on aggravated rape charges in February 2015.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel first reported the Supreme Court's ruling.