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Update: Woman said man kidnapped, beat her for refusing to pick up cigarette

July 25th, 2014 2:02 pm by Max Hrenda

Update: Woman said man kidnapped, beat her for refusing to pick up cigarette

Randy Wayne Johnson

An Elizabethton man was convicted on charges stemming from a 2013 incident in which he kidnapped and beat a woman who refused to pick up a dropped cigarette.

On Thursday in Carter County Criminal Court, Judge Robert Cupp sentenced Randy Wayne Johnson, 43, 1249 Bluefield Ave., Apt. E5, to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole on charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, assault, assaulting a police officer, driving under the influence (second offense), felony evading arrest and simple possession of a schedule II drug.

Additionally, because Johnson committed the offenses while he was on parole, Cupp ordered a 12-year sentence be served consecutively to the 25 years.

According to a news release from the district attorney’s office, Johnson had previously received two other convictions for violent crimes. In 2008, he was convicted of reckless aggravated assault, three years after a previous conviction of aggravated assault in 2005. Because of Johnson’s history with violent crime, Assistant District Attorney General Dennis Brooks, who prosecuted Johnson’s case, said his most recent sentence was justified.

“This being his third violent felony, I believe justice has been served with this sentence,” Brooks said in the release.

Johnson’s most recent conviction stems from an incident that occurred March 19, 2013. On that date, attorneys said, Johnson abducted Brooke Thornburg after dropping a friend off at their house in Elizabethton. Thornburg testified she tried to leave with the friend, but Johnson pulled her back into his truck, beat her for several minutes and held a knife to her throat. Thornburg added Johnson said he was going to take her to the lake and kill her.

As Johnson was driving, Thornburg said, she called 911 on her cellphone without drawing his attention. The operator was able to determine that an assault was taking place, she said, and the truck was found driving on West G Street by Elizabethton police officer Jordan Ensor.

Ensor said that after he turned on his emergency lights, the truck’s driver sped away to escape him. When he tried to drive next to the truck to see if he could identify the driver, Ensor said, the truck swerved into his lane, which caused him to brake. Ensor then stopped his pursuit because of what he said were high speeds, but told the Carter County Sheriff’s Department the truck was leaving Elizabethton and headed into the Valley Forge area.

The chase was then resumed by CCSD Deputy Issac Rhea, who said his radar determined the truck was traveling around 90 mph. Rhea and other deputies continued to pursue the truck until it stopped on Gap Creek Road because, according to deputies, the truck had worn out from the high speeds.

Rhea testified that he saw a visible mark on Thornburg’s neck, and other deputies said a knife was found in the truck’s floorboard. Thornburg said her nose was broken in the assault, and that the altercation began after she refused to pick up a cigarette Johnson had dropped in the truck.

In addition to the aforementioned charges, Johnson was also charged with driving on a suspended license (third offense).

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Reported at 2:02 p.m.:

An Elizabethton man was convicted on charges stemming from a 2013 incident in which he kidnapped and beat a woman who refused to pick up a dropped cigarette.

On Thursday in Carter County Criminal Court, Judge Robert Cupp sentenced Randy Wayne Johnson, 43, 1249 Bluefield Ave., Apt. E5, to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole on charges of especially aggravated kidnapping, assault, assaulting a police officer, driving under the influence (second offense), felony evading arrest and simple possession of a schedule II drug.

Additionally, because Johnson committed the offenses while he was on parole, Cupp ordered a 12-year sentence be served consecutively to the 25 years.

Check back here later for more details on Johnson's arrest.

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