Where is Martin Minnella Now? Arne Johnson’s Lawyer Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: October 17, 2023 (Last updated: October 26, 2023)
Where is Martin Minnella Now? Arne Johnson's Lawyer Explained
Derby, CT alderman and mayoral candidate Gino DiGiovanni, Jr. and his attorney Martin Minnella appear outside New Haven federal court after DiGiovanni Jr.’s first appearance before a judge in connection with his Tuesday arrest on January 6th charges.” David Mulligan

The Netflix documentary The Devil on Trial explores the trial of Arne Johnson, who in 1981 went to court on murder charges. The defense he attempted to use was demonic possession, which meant he couldn’t be held liable for any action that was taken while Johnson was under the devil’s control. Martin Minnella, Johnson’s law, signed onto this defense and went to some length to attempt to prove his client had been possessed.

Unfortunately for both of them, the court quickly threw this defense out, saying that it couldn’t be proved. Minnella instead used self-defense, which managed to get Johnson out of a murder conviction. In 2023, he appears to have continued practicing law all these years later, though using more earthly defenses.

Where is Martin Minnella now?

Despite his central role in Arne Johnson’s story, Martin Minnella is only briefly mentioned in the documentary. He was Arne’s lawyer in court, meaning that he represented Arne and attempted to get him off the hook for murder. After the trial in 2023, it appears that Minella has continued his career in law in Connecticut, becoming a partner at the firm Minnella, Tramuta & Edwards, Attorneys At Law. He still practices law in areas like criminal defense and family law and is a well-rated lawyer.

He is also an active member of his community, being a member of The Hartford Club and the New York Athletic Club. He founded the Minnella Law baseball team in the Greater Hartford Twilight Baseball League and is a benefactor of the River Baldwin Recreation Center.

Minnella is a cofounder of the Connecticut Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Martin Minnella and his Legal Defence of Arne Johnson

Minnella was hired as the lawyer for Arne Johnson and defended him from the murder charge that Johnson was facing. Johnson wanted to use the defense of demonic possession, and before Minnella agreed to this, he said he wanted to do his own research. This led him to Ed and Lorraine Warren, the alleged experts in demonic possession, and they convinced him that both David Glatzel and Arne Johnson had been possessed by a demonic force. He even went to the UK to meet with lawyers who had been involved in two similar cases (though neither went to trial).

Therefore, he agreed to use this defense, proving that Johnson was possessed when he killed Alan Bono. To get evidence, he wanted to bring in exorcism specialists from Europe and wanted to subpoena the priests involved in David’s exorcism.

However, the court threw out such a defense, citing the fact that it was unscientific and unable to be proved concretely. This forced Minnella and Johnson to pivot to self-defense, which would be itself difficult to prove as Johnson had stabbed Bono multiple times. However, when Johnson was convicted, it was on the lesser charge of manslaughter, and not murder.

Did Martin Minnella get disbarred after the trial of Arne Johnson?

Minnella didn’t get disbarred after the trial, or face any sanctions. While being willing to try the defense of demonic possession might have tarnished his reputation, his pivot to the use of self-defense meant that Arne was able to avoid a murder conviction, and only received a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter.

He still practices law today in Connecticut, and while he might still believe that Johsnon was possessed, it’s unlikely he’ll ever try that defense in court again.


Features, Netflix, News, RSC Originals, Streaming Service