- Associated Press - Thursday, June 12, 2014

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - A Comanche County jury has deadlocked on a shooting with intent to kill charge for a man accused in a shootout that wounded a Lawton police sergeant, but convicted the defendant of conspiracy to commit burglary in the case.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys both said Jamal Johnson wasn’t the gunman in the shooting that wounded Sgt. Eric Weatherly last year. But prosecutors argued that Johnson was engaging in a criminal conspiracy - in this case, burglary - that led to the shootout that hurt Weatherly and missed striking another officer in his patrol car. The trial for the alleged gunman, Demetrius Miller, was set to begin Thursday.

“The fact that (Johnson) didn’t pull that trigger that sent those bullets into that police officer or this police officer’s car doesn’t exonerate him from guilt,” Assistant District Attorney Mark Stoneman said. “He shares in the guilt.”

Defense attorney Craig Hoehns argued that Johnson only intended to commit a burglary and noted that he ran away when confronted by the officers.

“(Johnson) had no plan for violence … he didn’t see this coming,” he said.

According to The Lawton Constitution (https://bit.ly/1liaCWF ), the jury deliberated about six hours Wednesday before telling Comanche County District Judge Gerald Neuwirth they were deadlocked on two counts of shooting with intent to kill. But the jury convicted Johnson of conspiracy to commit burglary and recommended a life sentence. Formal sentencing was planned for Aug. 8.

Prosecutors haven’t decided whether to retry Johnson on the shooting with intent to kill charge.


Information from: The Lawton Constitution, https://www.swoknews.com



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