By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Judge Courrier presided over the 21st Circuit Court in Tucker County in the case of the State v. Doiley Johnson, a proposed plea deal fell apart.
According to Tucker County Prosecuting Attorney Savannah Wilkins, Johnson has companion charges in Randolph County with four count of the same offense. Wilkins also said the victim and the victim’s family were not satisfied with the terms of the plea deal. “They are not happy. In that sort of case, it is something the state takes very seriously…It is very important that they be on board with what we are doing…I don’t feel comfortable with the nature of what is being charged.”
Johnson was represented by his attorney Mr. Genttilozzi. Genttilozzi said he and his client felt they had a binding contract in regards to the plea agreement. Genttilozzo also said, “They [Randolph County] are not very confident that it is a good parent-guarding-person of trust case.”
Wilkins said that Johnson had admitted to guilt on audio recording to six instances. “Six times it happened…The recording does exist,” Wilkins said.
Genttilozzi said his client accepted his actions were wrong. “My client is willing to accept that what he did was wrong,” Genttilozzi said.
Genttilozzi said he was willing to conference with the victim and their family to reach an agreement. Wilkins agreed but reiterated her stance on the current plea agreement. “I’m just not comfortable with the facts,” Wilkins said.
According to the Genttilozzi, the victim was 14. “I know she wasn’t able to consent because she was 14,” Genttilozzi said. Genttilozzi also said his client was not willing to admit to being a guardian or person of trust and did not believe Johnson fit the legal definition. Genttilozzi also said the relationship was short-lived and only lasted three to four months.
Judge Courrier said that the court was placed in a bad position due to the plea deal falling apart. “It puts the court in a bad position,” Judge Courrier said. “The court isn’t supposed to get involved with plea negotiations.
Judge Courrier also stated that the parties needed to come to an agreement on how to proceed and inform the court. Judge Courrier said, “I need you all to meet and decide if there is some middle ground and let me know if we proceed with a plea agreement or need to set a trial date.”
A date of September 19 has been set on a motion to suppress evidence in regards to the confession.
Wilkins said she felt that the victim and family support was vital in proceeding with the case. “It’s really important to me that the victims support what is happening,” Wilkins said.
Johnson is charged with Third Degree Sexual Abuse, Third Degree Sexual Assault, Second Degree Sexual Assault and two counts of Sexual Abuse by a Parent, Guardian, Custodian or Person in a Position of Trust to a Child. Johnson could face two to 10 years to run concurrent with the Randolph County charges for a total of six to 30 years. According to the court proceedings, if convicted, Johnson would face a minimum of six years in prison.