Rock throwing suspect rejects plea deal

Patrick Eugene Johnson (Austin Police Department)
Patrick Eugene Johnson (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man accused of “the lion’s share” of rock-throwing cases on Interstate 35 has rejected a plea deal that would have added 40 years to his prison sentence.

Pat Johnson will now stand trial on four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police said over the past two years Johnson would act like a Good Samaritan and lead officers to the scenes where the attacks occurred.

IN-DEPTH COVERAGE:

One of the victims of a rock throwing suffered brain damage. According to an arrest affidavit, the rock smashed through the windshield, hitting Kenneth Johnson in the throat and breaking his jaw. Kenneth suffered a severe head injury and later a stroke. In the two years since Kenneth was hit, the number of rock throwing cases swelled to more than 90.

“We’ve had about 94 cases involving this series of events [since June 2014], and by the time we’re done putting together our case, we believe he’s responsible for the lion’s share of the cases,” said Austin Chief of Police Art Acevedo after Johnson’s arrest in June. 

The attorney for Johnson, Michael Watson, says he expects this case to go to trial.

Last month, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison for another crime. He was convicted of abusing a child back in 2012.

We will update the story with any developments.

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