FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2012
For Information Contact:
Jury Convicts District Man of Assault With Intent to Kill,
Obstruction of Justice, and Other Charges
- Armed Defendant Confronted Two Men, Shot One of Them -
WASHINGTON - Ernest Johnson, also known as “Jim,” 26, of Washington D.C., has been convicted of assault with intent to kill while armed and 13 other charges for shooting one victim and threatening another with a firearm, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Johnson was found guilty by a jury on March 1, 2012, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He is to be sentenced on June 1, 2012, by the Honorable Ann O’Regan Keary. Johnson faces up to 30 years in prison on the charge of assault with intent to kill while armed and additional time for the remaining counts of the conviction, which include charges of aggravated assault while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, second-degree cruelty to children, obstruction of justice and various weapons offenses.
The government presented evidence at trial that, on September 25, 2010, Johnson and his girlfriend drove into a parking lot in the 4500 block of Livingston Road SE. Johnson got out of the car to pick up his girlfriend's children at an apartment. On his way back to the car, he argued with a man; he then pulled a sawed-off shotgun or rifle-like weapon from the back seat of the girlfriend’s vehicle - where two small children were sitting - and threatened the man with the weapon. When the argument ended, Johnson put the gun back in the back seat area.
The girlfriend then attempted to drive herself and Johnson from the scene, but was blocked in by the vehicle of another person. Johnson again got out of the car, pulled out the weapon, and fired it at that man, striking him in the arm. When the second man tried to run away, Johnson pursued him and shot at him again. The girlfriend then drove herself, Johnson, and the children from the scene. Thereafter, Johnson engaged in a campaign to keep his girlfriend from cooperating with law enforcement.
At the time of these offenses, Johnson was on probation for two counts of armed robbery.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed his appreciation to the Metropolitan Police Department, and particularly praised the work of Detectives Jonathan Shell and Sean Moore; Mobile Crime Technicians Mark Dega and Martin Fosso, and Officers Maximilian Park, Jason Romlein, Jordan Katz, Andrew Stout, Ashley Mitchell, Stefani Thomas, and Luke Foskett. He also commended the work of U.S. Attorney’s Office Investigator John Marsh; Paralegals Wanda Trice and Allison Daniels; Litigation Technology Specialists Tracy Van Atta and Josh Ellen; Security Specialists Michael Hailey and Laverne Forrest, and intern Hayley Hoffman. Finally, he commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Carlton, who indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis, who tried the case.