Amid tight security at Hopkins County Courthouse Monday afternoon, Eighth Judicial District Judge Eddie Northcutt sentenced 36-year-old Jeremy Allen Johnson to serve 60 years in prison for possession of more than four grams of methamphetamine.
District Attorney Will Ramsay said Johnson was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, normally a second-degree felony. It was upgraded due to a prior felony firearms conviction in Oregon, as well as a prior felony conviction in Hopkins County in 2003 in which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant.
Ramsay said Johnson was on parole when he was arrested for methamphetamine possession.
This criminal history, the district attorney said, elevated this latest charge to a punishment range of 25 years to life in prison.
“What we did, and what I will almost always do in these types of cases, even though I did not have a gun charge that I was pursuing, the fact that gun was found, I filed a notice of intent to put to the jury the fact that a deadly weapon was used in the commission of an offense,” Ramsay said. “My experience is when you find dope and guns, they are going to be related and the jury agreed on it. That makes the punishment aggravated because of the deadly weapon.”
Because Johnson was on parole at the time this happened, he must do half his time before becoming eligible for parole again.
Security was extremely tight at the courthouse during both the trial and the sentencing Monday afternoon.
“Based on what we know about Mr. Johnson, and believe that his history shows, is violence and firearms,” the district attorney said. “We feel like we have a dangerous individual that runs with dangerous people. This was a heavy case with a possible heavy sentence and we just wanted to be extra careful.”
Ramsay also said there had been threats made during the trial.
“There had been some threats reported to us that had been made against one of our witnesses,” the district attorney said. “Anytime there is someone with this sort of past, that we believe is dangerous and very serious threats against one of our witnesses, we have the increased security.”
Along with the threats, Ramsay said Johnson's history was one of violence.
“He is a documented member of the prison gang which goes by the name of the White Knights,” Ramsay said. “I think there probably is some disagreement as to whether it is white supremacist or white separatist prison gang.”
During the sentencing ,the district attorney presented an expert witness in the area of prison gangs to identify the many tattoos on Johnson's body that prison gangs use to identify themselves.
“He was able to go through the tattoos on Mr. Johnson's body and tell the judge and the court what these tattoos meant,” Ramsay said. “Some were very self-explanatory. Mr. Johnson has, very prominently displayed on his torso, the image of Adolph Hitler — there's no mistaking it. There are swastikas on his body — things that show me and most reasonable people that this is an individual that has taken some very bad ideas and elevated them to what he considers to be good things, which we found very troubling.”
Johnson is being held in Hopkins County jail awaiting transfer back to the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
|< Prev||Next >|