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Report: Johnson City man charged with attempted murder tried to escape from jail

June 5th, 2013 10:35 am by Becky Campbell

Report: Johnson City man charged with attempted murder tried to escape from jail

Donovan Mitchell Johnson


A Johnson City man arrested last week on an attempted murder charge for shooting a man in the leg climbed into a jail cell ceiling in an attempt to escape, according to court documents filed Monday.


Donovan Mitchell Johnson, 21,  1313 E. Chilhowie Ave., now has escape and vandalism charges against him.


Johnson was in a cell in the booking area at the Washington County Detention Center following his arrest May 31 on the attempted murder charge. According to a court affidavit, Johnson was on suicide watch.


Around 4:15 a.m. on Saturday, a detention officer heard a banging noise coming from Johnson’s cell. When the officer investigated the noise, he discovered Johnson had removed metal ceiling panels from the cell and crawled into the ceiling.


Officers extracted Johnson from the ceiling. He suffered minor abrasions, according to the court document.


Johnson was initially arrested after city police investigated a shooting that occurred Thursday at Campus Ridge Apartments.


Police responded to Johnson City Medical Center about a shooting victim and found Christen Gray, 23, with a gunshot wound to his lower left leg. 


Gray told police that a tall, thin, light-skinned black man, who was later identified as Donovan, came to his apartment at 1301 Seminole Drive, Apt. D, around 6:30 a.m. and they began to argue after Johnson entered the apartment.


Gray said Johnson, who he had seen before in a downtown club, accused Gray of being a liar and told him “the best way to get a best friend is to shoot his friend,” according to the initial police report.


Johnson then reportedly fired three shots from a silver semi-automatic handgun. Two rounds missed Gray, but the third hit him in the leg.


According to the police report, another man at the apartment, who was in a back room when the shooting occurred, took Gray to the JCMC. Gray’s leg injury reportedly was severe and required surgery.


According to the affidavit, around 11:26 a.m. Johnson went inside a residence at 636½ E. Maple St. He allegedly had two semi-automatic pistols pointed at Uhamma Delgado and Casilda Hernandez, and pulled the trigger not realizing the safety was on.


According to the affidavit, Johnson stated that he had shot a guy six times at Campus Ridge Apartments that morning and put him in the hospital.


According to the court document, officers found a Bersa .380 semi-automatic pistol in Johnson’s vehicle.


Johnson was charged with attempted first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault.


His bond was set at $200,000 on the attempted murder and he also has an $11,000 bond on the new charges. Johnson is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court on June 6 on both cases.

Related article: 

Update: Johnson City man charged with early-morning shooting at Campus Ridge Apartments


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