Williamson Co. deputy accused of choking girlfriend says he’s innocent

Mario Johnson (Williamson County Sheriff's Office)
Mario Johnson (Williamson County Sheriff's Office)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputy who is accused of choking his girlfriend earlier this month insists he is innocent.

Mario Johnson, 27, was arrested on May 1 after police were called to an apartment in North Austin when a neighbor heard a loud argument. Johnson’s ex-girlfriend told police he slapped her, and then choked her during the fight.

On Tuesday, Johnson, flanked by his family and friends, appeared at a news conference with his attorney George Lobb.

Lobb says his client is innocent and his ex-girlfriend is lying about the allegations. He also said Johnson passed a lie-detector test he took last week.

“This is my chance to save his reputation and put the truth out there,” Lobb said. He wants Johnson’s ex-girlfriend to know she has an opportunity to talk with prosecutors about what happened the night of the arrest. “Justice demands that she do that,” he said.

Johnson has been on administrative leave from the sheriff’s office while the allegations are being investigated. He is expected to make his first appearance in court next month.

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