Mitchell Johnson, one of the convicted killers from the 1998 shootings at Westside Middle School speaks through a depostion received as part of a civil lawsuit filed by the families of the five victims.
For the first time since the Westside School shootings, we hear from one of the killers in a videotaped deposition taken with Mitchell Johnson last month.
In a little over 2 hours of taped testimony, Johnson covers a lot of ground - From the details of the day that he became a murderer to what he's been doing since his release from prison. In Johnson's testimony given for the civil case, he takes very little blame for killing five people, saying he never went to school that day to kill anyone. In fact, Johnson says he was an unwilling participant, at times describing himself has the victim. Here some excerpts of the testimony:
<"Why would a 13 year old boy participate in the slaughter of five people and injuring numerous others? What possible reason was there? Why I participated. I don t really know. I mean I was going thru a lot at the time, you know. I hit puberty a year before that. A lot of confusion came with that you know. Been around gang members a lot of my life you now. I smoke weed back then sometimes not all the time and that was only with Scott. That was with my dad. You know at that time at the time of the shooting, I remember feeling like I was trapped like no one understood me..you know what I mean? I felt cornered. I felt like I didn't t have anywhere to go nothing to do. I thought my life you know was at end. And when Andrew came to me with it, you know at first I was like, Man, you gotta be out of your mind. You have to be out of your mind to came to me with crazy stuff like this. And you know, I was in the streets a lot.">
In other parts of the testimony, Johnson talks about his relationship with teacher Shannon Wright, who was killed that day, saying 'Mrs. Wright was always good to me".
The interview with Johnson was conducted by Jonesboro attorney Bobby McDaniel, a litigator known nationwide for trying high profile cases like this one. McDaniel noted, "Basically, you look at a 22-year-old that has committed murder and he looks at himself as being a victim. He looks at himself as being someone that still to this day will not take responsibility for what he did."
Also, Johnson said that he actually moved back to Jonesboro for a short time after his release, at one point even calling Jonesboro home.