Man convicted in Arkansas graduation shooting gets 105 years in prison

Dec 16, 2023, 12:30 PM

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — A jury has convicted a man accused of firing a gun into a crowd following a high school graduation ceremony in Arkansas, killing one and injuring four others.

At the end of the five-day trial in Garland County Circuit Court, the six-man, six-woman panel deliberated for less than an hour Friday before convicting Charles Johnson Jr., 26, of first-degree murder in the 2022 death of Michael Jordan, 39, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

It took just over an hour before the jury recommended a sentence of 40 years in prison with an enhancement of five years added for the use of a firearm, the newspaper said. They also found him guilty of four counts of first-degree battery and sentenced him to 20 years for injuries to Markezeon Carlton Green, with an enhancement of 10 years for committing the offense in the presence of a child; 15 years for injuries to Candice Hughes; and five years each for the injuries to Monique West and Adamma Watson.

Judge Ralph Ohm said the jury recommended the sentences run consecutively for a total of 105 years.

Johnson chose not to testify and his court-appointed attorney, Mark Fraiser, did not present any other witnesses or testimony.

The shooting happened May 12, 2022, outside the Hot Springs Convention Center, which had hosted a graduation ceremony for Hot Springs World Class High School. Hot Springs officers wounded Johnson, who fled and was later arrested at a hospital on a murder warrant.

In his closing arguments, Deputy Prosecutor Brock Price outlined evidence against Johnson, including matching the clothes and shoes worn by the shooter as seen in multiple cellphone videos and police body camera footage to Johnson, and matching his DNA to the blood trail leaving the scene as he fled after being shot by police.

Price said Johnson walked toward a group that included Jordan and Green and “fired into the crowd” even though police were just a few feet away. He continued firing into the crowd while running away.

Hot Springs is a popular tourist destination that’s about 45 miles (75 kilometers) southwest of Little Rock.

United States News

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

54 minutes ago

Associated Press

Jury awards more than $13 million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded $13.1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the Seattle Times reported. Lesley […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Man trying to drown 2 children on Connecticut beach is stopped by officers, police say

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man trying to drown two small children at a Connecticut beach early Saturday morning was thwarted by police officers, according to authorities. An officer spotted an SUV parked on a beach in West Haven at about 2:30 a.m. and heard “significant screaming” from the water as he approached. As […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate in Massachusetts passes bill curtailing use of plastics including bags, straws

BOSTON (AP) — The state Senate in Massachusetts has passed a wide-ranging bill curtailing the use of plastics, including barring the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies. The bill, approved Thursday, also bans carry-out plastic bags at retailers statewide and require stores to charge 10 cents for recycled paper bags. It also requires […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Man convicted in Arkansas graduation shooting gets 105 years in prison