DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A man who was arrested in a Dale County town in 2019 has finally had his day in an Ozark courtroom.
The case was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently, after quite an ordeal, the suspect was found not guilty.
James William Johnson was arrested in Taylor in September of 2019 on 6 different charges, and now he has been found not guilty on four of the charges. The two other charges were dropped.
Johnson was arrested on September 7, 2019, and was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, attempting to elude, and disrupting governmental operations from an incident that happened on August 18, 2019.
“When I went in to assist my son they accused him of some stuff that he didn’t do and we immediately asked for an attorney,” Defendant James William Johnson said.
According to court records, the Pinckard police officer in charge of the case said that there was a heated exchange between Johnson and the officer at the Pinckard police station. After the exchange, the officer asked Johnson to leave multiple times.
When Johnson refused to leave, the officer used a safety measure to grab Johnson by the neck and held him up against the wall.
“The officer came up behind me and attacked me at the door and pushed me against the doorframe,” Johnson said. “Put his arms around my neck and was choking me.”
Johnson and his son then left the Pinckard police station and according to court records, the officer went to their home, which led the officer to request a warrant for Johnson’s arrest.
Johnson’s attorney, David Harrison, says that Johnson and his wife reported the situation to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and the Alabama Attorney General’s office.
“I truly believe this jury believed Mr. Johnson was cooperating,” Johnson’s Attorney, David Harrison said. “I truly believe that this jury believes that Mr. Johnson did everything an innocent person would do. How many guilty people contact all of the agencies?”
In a jury trial that took two days, the jury took just 45 minutes to decide a verdict: James Johnson was found not guilty of these four charges.
“So that’s what the jury believed. That’s what the evidence supported,” Harrison said. “So the point is you have a constitutional right, stand up for it and the system will work for you as it did Mr. Johnson.”
Johnson says that after almost three years, these charges have held him down and now, he can travel out of state and go on trips with his family.
WDHN has reached out to the town of Pinckard and the lawyers involved in this case. As of the time of this posting, we have not received a response.