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Testimony wraps up in Johnson trial

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LAWTON, Okla._Testimony wrapped up Tuesday in the trial of Lawton man accused in connection with the shooting of a police officer a little more than a year ago.

Jamal Johnson has been charged with shooting with intent to kill, in the incident that left officer Eric Weatherly injured. In February of last year, Weatherly and another officer were checking out a report of two suspicious men in a northwest Lawton neighborhood when one of the suspects opened fire, wounding the officer and the suspect when police fired back.

In Tuesday's testimony, the jury watched an interrogation video between Johnson and OSBI agents that was conducted the day of the shooting.

It was strange because Johnson kept admitting he knew he was in trouble but also took a while to cooperate with the agents, especially after being repeatedly asked what the plans had been for the day, for him and his partner in crime.

Johnson told the agents he thought he and his friend, Demetrius Miller, were going to a friend's house to smoke marijuana. The agents didn't buy that. They believed all along the two had planned on breaking into a house. Finally, more than halfway through the interrogation, Johnson admitted they were doing just that.

The plan was to knock on a door and kick it in if no one answered, but if someone did they would ask for a fake person then leave. At the first house, someone did answer so they walked away, but police were notified by an alert neighbor of suspicious activity.

Sergeant Weatherly arrived and when he went to talk to them Johnson ran away, and that's when he heard gun shots. He said he didn't know Miller had a gun but Johnson admitted that he had a gun, but never fired it, saying it was for protection because he had been threatened since getting out of prison.

During cross examination of the OSBI agent who conducted the interview, the defense tried to drive home that Johnson only intended to commit the burglary and had no intentions of shooting anyone. He further tried to show that point by referring to the fact that Johnson ran away when confronted instead of shooting the gun he had.

The prosecution also pointed out, however, that state law allows for conviction of shooting with intent to kill, even if they didn't pull the trigger. The law just requires that they are present and involved in the crime. Jury instructions and closing arguments will begin Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

If found guilty, Johnson could face life in prison.

The suspected triggerman in that crime, Demetrius Miller, is scheduled to go to trial Thursday morning at the Comanche County Courthouse.

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