Wednesday, January 26, 2022

23-year-old sentenced to 8 years for shooting security guard at the Crust

John Lee Johnson (Courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A Williamsburg man who shot a security guard at the former Crust restaurant in Tribe Square has been sentenced to eight years in prison, with no time suspended.

John Lee Johnson, 23, was sentenced earlier this month on Feb. 5 for shooting a security guard at the Crust on Aug. 27, 2016, according to court documents filed in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court.

Police have previously called the shooting gang-related, but prosecutors dropped the gang-related charges against Johnson and six other men believed to be involved in the incident.

Johnson was convicted by a jury Sept. 13 on two charges, malicious assault and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The jury recommended a sentence of five years for the malicious wounding and three years for the use of a firearm, which Judge Charles J. Maxfield followed through on.

Under Virginia Code, the two charges carried a possible sentence of up to 23 years.

The altercation started between “two groups” attending a 100-plus-person birthday party on Aug. 27, 2016, at The Crust, located at 249 Richmond Road, according to Williamsburg Police.

The altercation started on the front patio of the restaurant around 1 a.m., but two security guards, including the victim, escorted the men out of the party to separate locations.

At a Jan. 12 preliminary hearing, witnesses testified that one group of men moved to the sidewalk along Richmond Road, while the other group moved into the breezeway next to the restaurant. Moments later, after yelling between the two groups, multiple shots were fired from within the breezeway, one striking a Crust security guard in the back.

The security guard survived, but was left with a bullet lodged in his back, near his spine. Another bullet was found in the wall of the breezeway, and there was a gash in the ceiling, which police believe was left by a third bullet.

In the days following the shooting, police arrested six men: Jamel John Young Jr., 24, Kajound Devante Johnson, 22, Eric Ronald Anthony James, 25, Dominique Lamar Wallace, 23, Malik Cory Brown, 28, and Travis David-Mark Campbell, 27.

All charges have been dropped or dismissed against the six men, according to court records.

During Johnson’s preliminary hearing in January, Judge Colleen Killilea dismissed four charges against Johnson, including two counts of shooting into an occupied building, use of a firearm to shoot into an occupied building and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Court documents filed by defense attorney Patricia Nagel state that before the shooting, Johnson had no criminal convictions for either misdemeanors or felonies. In 2014, however, Johnson was accused of shooting a man in the abdomen in the 100 block of Merrimac Trail.

The case was dropped in January 2015 because the victim was uncooperative with prosecutors.

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Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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