Mitchell Johnson Trial Draws Closer - Part 2

JONESBORO- After his arrest on new years day, Mitchell Johnson would later sit down for a deposition with Region Eight Attorney, Bobby McDaniel.

This would be the first time the nation had ever heard the words of a childhood killer.

"I didn't understand what I was doing potentially put people in harm, and if they did get killed they don't come back," said Mitchell Johnson.

McDaniel says with his background, however, that's hard to believe.

"If you shoot somebody with a rifle, to claim that they didn't think they would kill them is ridiculous. Both of them admitted they had hunted game before. It's absurd. They knew exactly what shooting somebody with a high powered rifle would do," said McDaniel.

But Johnson's mental capacity in 1998 does not change his actions now, nearly ten years after the shootings.

"He should have never been in a position where there was drugs, or guns, or hanging out with a guy who had murdered his dad with a crossbow," said McDaniel.

For that reason Johnson is facing federal weapons charges in Fayetteville.

"I think Mitchell Johnson is one of these people that lives for today, and the heck with the consequences. I don't have to follow the rules. I do what I want to do, and it will be okay," said McDaniel.

But Johnson claims in the deposition he's remorseful and thinks about what he's done constantly.

"I'm not mad at anybody. If they are mad at me, I don't blame them. I try to put myself in their shoes and ask myself if somebody killed my mother or my daughter, how would I feel," stated Johnson.

But McDaniel feels that Johnson's actions prove his remorse isn't genuine.

"I would think someone who did what he did, who's truly remorseful, would be begging and pleading for forgiveness with all sincerity, and would be doing all they could to try and make it right with society," said McDaniel.

And when I asked him about being in the same room with Johnson, this was his response.

"I felt I was in the room with evil. I think Mitchell Johnson is inherently evil, and he does not need to be free in society," said McDaniel.

McDaniel tells me his meeting with Johnson was somewhat unnerving because he felt like he should have been conducting the meeting in a prison, and not in public where Johnson had the ability to walk freely.

And Wednesday on Region Eight News, how has the Westside tragedy changed Region Eight and the country as a whole? We'll hear answers from family members and victims.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at