Johnson to face other charges

June 10, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Mark Johnson still faces prosecution on charges of sexual assault against a fellow jail inmate even though he has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole in a Jefferson County kidnapping, a prosecutor said Monday.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said she plans to try Johnson in Berkeley County on the two counts of sexual assault.

While awaiting trial in Jefferson County, Johnson was charged last month with forcing a fellow inmate at the Eastern Regional Jail to have sex with him on two separate occasions.


Last Friday, a Jefferson County jury found Johnson guilty of kidnapping and related offenses. The jury's verdict, with no recommendation of mercy, means Johnson will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The sentence is the maximum penalty in West Virginia, which does not have the death penalty.

Defense attorney David A. Camilletti said following the trial he expected Johnson to appeal, but he did not believe he would represent him through the appeals process.

"Weird things happen in appeals court and a verdict can be overturned years down the road, so we're going to go ahead with our case," Games-Neely said.

If Johnson is found guilty of the sexual assaults, she said she will ask that any sentences be served consecutively to his life sentence.

In addition to kidnapping, Johnson was found guilty Friday of attempted first-degree murder, bringing stolen property into the state, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to attempt first-degree murder and conspiracy to bring stolen property into the state.

Johnson was convicted in the Aug. 2, 1996, attack on Donald Milligan, 50, of Gaithersburg, Md. During the trial, co-defendant Tammy Reel, testifying for the prosecution, said she lured Milligan into a room at the Days Inn motel.

Believing Milligan was dead, Johnson stuffed him into the back seat of Milligan's car, and later moved him to the trunk. Then he and Reel spent the night looking for crack cocaine, according to testimony.

The next morning, Johnson threw Milligan, who was playing dead, into the Potomac River, according to testimony.

Milligan later ran to safety.

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