/Ex-Hinds asst DA Johnson pleads guilty to conspiracy

Ex-Hinds asst DA Johnson pleads guilty to conspiracy

Johnson, 33, said, “As the facts were alleged, I plead guilty.” Johnson was charged in a federal bill of information on July 15. This is a legal accusation by the government that does not require a grand jury. Oct. 13 was the date for his sentencing. U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee observed that Johnson was allowed to keep his passport in an unusual move. Johnson is going on a honeymoon to Jamaica. This was what the government stated it would allow. Johnson’s plea raises concerns that Johnson could provide information to ongoing federal and state investigations into the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office’s dealings. Robert Shuler Smith, Hinds County District Attorney, is facing state misdemeanor allegations that he illegally assisted criminal defendants. Lee presided over the guilty plea hearings and asked Johnson: “Did your know the difference between right or wrong during the time period in the bill? Johnson answered yes. Lee agreed to Johnson’s guilty plea and told Johnson that he could face up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 penalty. Johnson’s sentence will take a while because the U.S. takes to prepare it. The U.S. Probation Service will prepare a detailed report that will guide Lee’s decision. After the Jackson-based U.S. Attorney’s Office, Shreveport, La. recused itself due to possible relationships with Smith’s office, Allison Bushnell represented the government. Johnson represented himself on Thursday, and he was present at Wednesday’s first appearance. He pleaded not guilty in a procedural hearing to establish bond and inquire about legal representation. Johnson remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Johnson, who has a law degree as well as a master’s in law, stated that he was employed by the District Attorney’s Office for three years. This is on top of his seven years of law practice. Johnson left the District Attorney’s Office several months ago. He is likely to lose his law licence after pleading guilty. Johnson is charged with participating in a scheme to receive money from the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office for “a transaction” or “a series of transactions” that involved $5,000 or more. The government charges him with accepting $500 to reduce the bond of a defendant named as “S.B.” to approximately $3,500 and also of receiving at least $15,000 from his co-conspirators during the commission of the crime. Johnson’s arrest came less than one month after Smith, his former boss, was charged with six misdemeanors state charges for illegally aiding criminal defendants. Smith has not made any public statements regarding his situation. To support this important work, make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today.