WTOC EXCLUSIVE: Effingham deputy reacts to guilty verdict for man who stabbed him
EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The man who stabbed Effingham County Deputy Danny Harrington is headed to prison.
The trial lasted just three days.
A jury found Franklin Johnson guilty on a dozen counts, including attempted murder.
WTOC spoke exclusively with Deputy Harrington and he sounded indifferent about the verdict.
He said by definition this is justice and his family has closure, but it doesn’t change the fact that what Johnson did has permanently changed his life and how he can do his job.
Deputy Harrington took the stand this week – facing the man who tried to kill him.
He said: “I feel bad for his family. I know they don’t think I do but, it’s not their fault. They called us there for help and that’s what we were gonna try to do.”
“It’s been six and a half long years of wondering if this was gonna happen.”
The verdict doesn’t change the fact that Harrington now has to wear hearing aids, has pain issues and nerve damage.
“Everything they [the DA’s office] did is correct. His verdict was correct. I am glad it’s over, but I’m not sitting here like ‘yes, I’m glad he’s going to prison’...it just ruins families.”
He said Johnson should be in prison and his family does have closure, but no one wins in this.
“If my sheriff decided he didn’t need me anymore for whatever reason...I can’t get another job in the career I chose.”
Deputy Harrington said Johnson was high when he assaulted him and it’s sad what a good person will do on drugs.
“It happens in everyday...in every neighborhood. It’s drugs and no matter how hard we work to try to stop it...it just keeps coming.”
The deputy said the incident was so hard on his colleagues who witnessed it that they aren’t even on patrol anymore. They went to other units because of what they saw.
He said the whole thing was senseless and the verdict was right, but it doesn’t fix or change anything.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated one of the charges was involuntary manslaughter. It has been removed.
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