Federal Trial for Westside Shooter Begins Today in Fayetteville - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fayetteville, AR

Federal Trial for Westside Shooter Begins Today in Fayetteville

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Mitchell Johnson, who killed five people with another boy in a 1998 ambush in a Jonesboro school yard, will appear today in federal court as prosecutors try to send him back to prison.

Johnson faces a single charge, whether he had possession of a firearm while either using or being addicted to a controlled substance.  It carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

The case initially started as a misdemeanor, but state prosecutor Brian Lamb dropped the charge at the request of federal officials.  Lamb said at the time that federal prosecutors believed "they can hang a felony" on Johnson.

Jack Schisler, Johnson's federal public defender, has described the charge as "very unusual."

The case comes after Washington County sheriff's deputies pulled over Johnson in a van on New Year's Day 2007 driven by friend Justin Trammell, who killed his father with a crossbow as a teen.  Johnson told deputies they planned to move south of Los Angeles to Carlsbad, California.  There, Johnson said, they had a two bedroom, two bath townhouse waiting for them, only ten minutes away from the Pacific Ocean.

Region 8 News Reporter Will Carter is covering the trial live in Fayetteville, and will blog updates on kait8.com as well as on-the-air throughout the week, beginning today.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Woman airlifted following MO crash

    Woman airlifted following MO crash

    Friday, July 28 2017 7:14 AM EDT2017-07-28 11:14:57 GMT
    Friday, July 28 2017 7:21 AM EDT2017-07-28 11:21:05 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    A Missouri woman is in an Arkansas hospital after a crash in Pemiscot County.

    A Missouri woman is in an Arkansas hospital after a crash in Pemiscot County.

  • Helmets and Heels event educates women on football program

    Helmets and Heels event educates women on football program

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:38:36 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:43 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:43:26 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Lady fans of the Red Wolves in Region 8 got a chance to learn more about the football program Thursday at the 6th Annual Helmets and Heels event.

    Lady fans of the Red Wolves in Region 8 got a chance to learn more about the football program Thursday at the 6th Annual Helmets and Heels event.

  • Group created to help during emergencies

    Group created to help during emergencies

    Thursday, July 27 2017 10:32 PM EDT2017-07-28 02:32:36 GMT
    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:39 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:39:31 GMT
    A group in Randolph County is being formed to help people during emergencies. (Source: KAIT)A group in Randolph County is being formed to help people during emergencies. (Source: KAIT)

    A group of volunteers that helped residents during recent flooding in Randolph County is now working to create a permanent recovery group. 

    A group of volunteers that helped residents during recent flooding in Randolph County is now working to create a permanent recovery group. 

Powered by Frankly