An East Texas soldier is out of jail but is still linked with the deadly stabbing of a fellow soldier.
21-year-old Cedarium Johnson of Sulphur Springs is with his mother who picked him up Tuesday night from a Washington jail.
Johnson was arrested Monday, along with two other military men, in connection with the stabbing death of Spc. Tevin A. Geike.
Johnson wiped away tears as he and the two other suspects from Joint Base Lewis-McChord pled not guilty in a Washington courtroom. Johnson was the only one of the three suspects in custody released Tuesday.
Johnson's mother traveled from Texas to pick him up from jail. The Associated Press reports Johnson was ordered to containment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Back in East Texas, his family is trying to understand how their soldier got in this situation.
"He's always had a good upbringing so, I mean, he could have been a statistic but he chose not to be. He chose to leave sulphur springs to better his life and he's been doing that," says Kimberly Chisom, Johnson's cousin.
"Anybody can get in a situation but I just know he wouldn't do anything like that," his aunt, Lakisha Jackson says.
Johnson and Ajoni Bareford are charged with rendering criminal assistance. Jeremiah Hill is charged with first degree murder for stabbing Geike.
Friends celebrating Geike's last days in uniform made the frantic 911 call to try and save him.
"Our buddy's been stabbed. We're at the Rainier Lighting & Electric Supply building. We were walking down the street, we were walking back to our friend's house, and these four black dudes stopped and they stabbed him," you can hear a man saying.
Court documents show Johnson and four others drove by Geike and his friends then stopped. Johnson told officials he and his friends backed off once they realized the men were fellow soldiers, but when Hill got back in the car he was covered in blood.
His family says Johnson was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"You just have to watch, I guess, the places you go and the people you're with," Jackson says.
"My brother, he knew what was right and what was wrong. He was raised up right," says Savion Thomas, Johnson's brother.
Johnson is also a husband-to-be.
"He's been doing good, was planning on getting married," says Jackson.
His brother said they used to be the class clowns, but had both since matured; even their sister recently joined the Army.
Johnson's family is asking for prayers and positive thoughts for the victim's family and themselves.
"I love him and I can't wait to see him again. We'll keep faith," Thomas says.
They say God will take care of the rest.
Judicial records obtained from the Pierce County, WA Corrections Facility show that Johnson is expected back in court on October 22 for a hearing with his attorney.
All three suspects are scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing on November 14. At this time, a jury trial is expected to begin December 4.
Court documents show all of the suspects, except Hill, agree the victim was not doing anything to warrant an attack.
Johnson is charged with rendering criminal assistance for his role in the escape and disposal of the murder weapon.
An autopsy shows the victim died of a deep stab wound to his heart.
Officials say they do not believe this crime was racially motivated.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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