Jury Hands Down Verdict in Ahmad Johnson Trial - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/10/04

Jury Hands Down Verdict in Ahmad Johnson Trial

Ahmad Johnson faces life in prison. Ahmad Johnson faces life in prison.

The jury began deliberating just after noon on Friday, and needed close to ten hours to come to a consensus.

Sixteen times a verdict was read, and fourteen of those were the same: "We the jury find the defendant guilty."

Now Ahmad Johnson is facing a probable life sentence without the possibility of parole for a pair of home invasions and the shooting of a police officer two years ago.

Corporal Martin White says, "I'm glad it's over with."

White says he's proud of the way investigators handled the case from start until finish. The fact that Friday's verdict comes two years to the day after he was shot isn't lost on him.

"They got their evidence together and the prosecutors did their job," admitted White outside the courthouse. "The fact the verdict came in on my shooting anniversary date, it was significant."

This case isn't over yet, though. Johnson didn't actually pull the trigger; investigators say that person was Calvin Martin, who's believed to be hiding in the Bahamas.

Corporal White's still waiting for that trial to begin, and admits it won't be an easy process to go through again.

"One more time," he sighs. "But it will be worth it."

There were two "not guilty" verdicts handed down Friday. The first was one of two Aggravated Assault charges: the jury found Johnson guilty on a different degree of the same type of charge. The other simply had to do with the fact that Corporal White was sitting in his police cruiser when he was shot.

Neither of those not guilty charges should have any effect on Johnson's sentence, since he's had prior felony convictions.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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