from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney, By:
RONALD MARK CALDWELL Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
Defendant-Appellant MARY G. WARLOP, Abney Law Office, LLC.
JUDGES: Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.
Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Appellant Justin Lamar Johnson appeals a judgment of the
Stark County Common Pleas Court convicting him of having a
weapon while under disability (R.C. 2923.13(A)(3)) and
sentencing him to twenty-four months incarceration. Appellee
is the State of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
Appellant was indicted by the Stark County Grand Jury with
felonious assault, discharging a firearm on or near
prohibited premises, and having a weapon while under
disability. The case proceeded to a jury trial on the charges
of felonious assault and discharging a firearm on or near
prohibited premises, while the charge of having a weapon
under a disability was tried to the court.
The State presented testimony at trial that on December 23,
2015, appellant attended a party on Plain Avenue in Canton.
Julius Jones and his girlfriend Shelby Bell were at the
party. Conflicting testimony was presented as to whether just
alcohol, or both alcohol and drugs were consumed at the
party. During the party, Logan Cundiff showed a handgun to
people at the party. Appellant offered to buy the handgun.
However, the homeowner ordered everyone to leave, breaking up
According to the State's evidence, Jones and Bell went to
a nearby drive-thru to buy cigarettes and beer on their way
home. As they walked down an adjacent alley after leaving the
drive-thru, they saw appellant walking toward them. Jones
became angry and asked appellant why he was following them.
Logan Cundiff also arrived on the scene. Appellant pulled out
the gun Cundiff had shown him at the party, and attempted to
shoot it several times at the ground, but the gun jammed.
Bell tried to pull Jones away, knowing Jones was not armed.
Appellant fired a round in the air, and then fired the gun at
Jones, striking him in the chest. Appellant's stepfather
testified that appellant knocked on his door that night, and
told him that he shot someone.
Appellant turned himself in to Detective Mike Talkington. He
told Talkington that he did not shoot Jones, and that he
could not tell him who did shoot Jones because of a street
Appellant testified at trial that he attended the party, and
learned that Jones was angry because appellant had had sex
with Bell. Appellant ran into Bell and Jones in the alley by
the drive-thru, and Jones pointed a gun at appellant.
Appellant fled the scene, and ran into his cousin. His cousin
showed him a gun, and offered to accompany appellant back to
the scene. When they proceeded back to the scene, appellant
noticed that Logan Cundiff was also there. Jones told
appellant that he wanted to fight him, but appellant walked
away. As he was walking, he heard a gunshot, and turned to
see Jones on the ground and his cousin walking over to him.
Appellant then fled the scene.
The jury found appellant not guilty of felonious assault and
discharging a firearm on or near prohibited premises.
However, the court convicted him of having a weapon under
THE COURT: Mr. Johnson, it is not uncommon that when verdicts
of this nature are decided that they are inconsistent.
This is gonna be an inconsistent verdict.
It's gonna be the order of the Court that the Court finds