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Plea entered in Somerton murder case

Published: June 6, 2017 3:18 PM

ST.

CLAIRSVILLE — A man accused of shooting and killing another man outside a Route 800 home in Somerton last December has pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder in the Belmont County Common Plea Court.

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727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Harold W.

Johnson Jr., 45, Lewisville, entered the plea Monday morning.

He faces a potential life prison sentence without parole for 20 years.

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727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">The charge includes a firearm specification that will require him to serve a mandatory three years in prison.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Johnson was then convicted of killing of Clint Stephens, 48, of Jerusalem.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Johnson reportedly shot Stephens six or seven times in the head and neck on Dec.

12, 2016, and left him to die.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Authorities believe the shooting occurred during a dispute about a woman who was dating Stephens at the time of his death and previously dated Johnson until a breakup in 2016.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Johnson was arrested by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies following a brief pursuit near Malaga.

A gun believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered from Johnson during the investigation.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Stephens was reportedly still sitting in his vehicle when shot.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Johnson avoided a trial scheduled to start Monday by entering the plea.


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