Mitchell Johnson Pleads Guilty to Drug, Theft Charges

BENTONVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Westside school shooter Mitchell Johnson, now 23, pleaded guilty today in Benton County Circuit Court to drug and theft-related charges.

Without the benefit of a plea bargain, Johnson entered guilty pleas to felony theft by receiving and financial identity fraud, as well as marijuana possession, a misdemeanor.

Johnson faces up to 30 years in a state prison for his crimes.

Police say Johnson took a debit card left by a disabled man at a northwest Arkansas gas station where Johnson worked.

In 1998, Johnson, then 13, and Andrew Golden, then 11, were arrested in the shooting deaths of four schoolmates and a teacher at Westside Middle School, just west of the Jonesboro city limits.  The two were found guilty in juvenile court, detained until they turned 18, then turned over to federal authorities until they each turned 21.

In January, a federal jury convicted Johnson of owning a gun while being a user of or addicted to a controlled substance.  He was released on bond and awaiting sentencing when he was arrested again on the Benton County charges and returned to jail.

Johnson is to be sentenced on the most recent charges on November 14 in Benton County.