Man shot at victor of fight, jury told
By CRAIG KAPITAN
Eagle Staff Writer
Bryan resident Tommy Ray Johnson watched his cousin lose a fight last fall and then tried to settle the score by shooting at the victor, prosecutors contended Tuesday in the first day of testimony for the trial.
Johnson, 21, is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
“The defendant wasn’t going to let his cousin get beat like that,” Assistant District Attorney Peter Keim told the jury during opening statements, explaining that four shots were fired from a .45 caliber pistol. “But his aim was only good on one shot.”
Scott Gibbs, the man who prosecutors say fought with Johnson’s cousin, was shot in the leg. Two others standing in a crowd of about 50 onlookers also were hit.
But witnesses will be called later in the trial to testify that Johnson was not the one who fired the gun, the defendant’s attorney, John Quinn, told the jury.
The fight that triggered the shooting was Oct. 12 along Martin Luther King Jr. Street in Bryan. Gibbs and Johnson’s cousin, Clarence Newton Jr., had been in altercations the last several nights, court documents state.
“[This time] the defendant brought backup, just in case Clarence lost the fight,” Keim told the jury. “That backup consisted of several other guys and a gun.”
One of the stray bullets grazed Latonya McMurry’s ribcage as she fled the scene, court documents state. Another bullet hit Marvin Johnson, who had his child on his shoulders, Keim said.
“He was shot through the back ... almost hitting his child,” he said.
Marvin Johnson testified Tuesday that he didn’t see who shot him. But after he was struck, the man turned around and saw that the defendant was the only one carrying a gun, he said. Tommy Johnson later approached him and apologized for the incident, he said.
An additional witness testified Tuesday that she returned to the scene and gave police a bullet jacket that had lodged in her tire. The woman, who asked not to be identified, had earlier sped off after hearing gunshots, she said.
“I said to myself ‘These people are getting ready to fight,’” she explained of coming upon the crowd while driving down Martin Luther King Jr. Street. “It was just a second before I heard the gunshots.
“I was so scared.”
Johnson had the motive and the means to commit the crime, Keim said. He was the only one that could have done it, he added.
“If your job was going to be that easy you wouldn’t be here,” Quinn responded while addressing the jury. “There’s a lot of witnesses in this case, but the bottom line is you’re going to hear conflicting stories.”
Prosecutors Keim and Jarvis Parsons will continue calling witnesses when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the 85th District Courtroom, 300 E. 26th St.
• Craig Kapitan’s e-mail address is email@example.com.