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Johnson Found Guilty of Attempted First-Degree Murder


"It was drug on for a long time, it's been very hard on Mr. Masterson, you know to constantly have to relive this thing for 14 months when he's trying to move on with his life and recover.'

-Michael Blonigen, Casper District Attorney

Zacharia Johnson is found guilty of the attempted first-degree murder of Robert Masterson in March 2013.

Everyone in the courtroom, including Johnson's family members, sat quietly as the verdict was read.

The defense began their closing argument by stating, "the evidence presented by the state is not enough to find Zacharia Johnson guilty."

Prosecuting Attorney Michael Blonigen's closing argument was that "Masterson had Johnson's undivided attention during the crime," making it easy for Masterson to identify Johnson out of a six-person photo lineup on two separate occasions.

Though, Blonigen is still pleased with the way the investigation turned out. He says, "particularly with the defendent fleeing for fifteen days, we didn't have the opportunity to get some of the things we'd like to have, but they did a very good job on the identifications."

But the fact Johnson fled to Gillette after the crime isn't the only supporting evidence leading the jury to believe Johnson guilty.

Blonigen also pointed out how much Johnson's hair and beard had changed over the past year since the crime that night, stating "why would anybody change their appearance when their entire case relies on identification."

After waiting over a year for this trial, attorneys say Masterson is glad justice has finally been served.

Blonigen continues, "it was drug on for a long time, it's been very hard on Mr. Masterson, you know to constantly have to relive this thing for 14 months when he's trying to move on with his life and recover.'

Johnson is currently being held without bond and sentencing is expected in the next six weeks.
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Email Tony Cedrone: tcedrone@kcwy13.com


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