Rockwall, TX (April 26, 2021) Last week, a Rockwall County jury took less than an hour to convict Dallas County resident, Jonathan Johnson, 39, of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon for the 2019 beating of his then girlfriend. Visiting Judge Richard Beacom subsequently sentenced Johnson to 35 years in a Texas prison.
Testimony at trial showed that on October 18, 2019, Johnson, the victim, and their infant twins checked into a motel room in Royse City where a heated argument ensued between the two adults. The victim testified that she locked the defendant out of the room when she anticipated that violence was going to occur, but he was later able to get back into the room by unknown means. At that point, Johnson shoved the victim to the floor and told her he was going to “kill her” and “break her neck”. According to the victim’s powerful testimony, Johnson then dropped to his hands and knees and tried to forcefully wring her neck, but she twisted multiple times to prevent it from snapping. She said this enraged the out-of-control Johnson who then began to punch her repeatedly in the face until she lost consciousness. The jury was shown photographs of the victim’s injuries which, according to Royse City Police Sergeant Jaime Torrez, showed some of the worst facial bruising he has ever seen in his career.
Multiple witnesses were called to paint a vivid picture of the defendant’s violent abuse of the victim in the two years prior to the events of October, 2019. Evidence further showed that after the offense in question, Johnson threatened, manipulated, and harassed the victim as he attempted to keep her from reporting the facts and testifying in prosecution.
In the punishment phase of the trial, lead prosecutor Mandy Waite presented additional evidence against Johnson, including multiple prison terms and previous convictions for violent offenses. Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office personnel also testified about Johnson’s attempt to avoid arrest and capture by leading deputies on a high-speed chase that covered more than 60 miles.
“The victim in this case bravely faced her abuser and told her story of horrific and continuous violence at the hands of Johnson,” said Assistant District Attorney Waite. “The jury gave a swift and just verdict in light of the evidence, and the judge sent a message with his sentence of just how seriously Rockwall County takes family violence, particularly when committed by a habitual violent offender.”
“The brutality of family violence affects every jurisdiction in Texas – large and small, rich and poor,” said Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. “I am proud that the Rockwall County criminal justice system continues to support victims by truly punishing those who prey on the vulnerable.”
Submitted press release, edited for publication in Blue Ribbon News.
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