Tahlequah Daily Press

November 14, 2012

Johnson: Death ‘unfortunate accident’

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — State officials have recommended a Tahlequah man be denied a sentence modification on his first-degree manslaughter conviction.

Kent Allen Johnson, 32, was originally charged with murder, but was found guilty of the reduced charge a year ago and given a 30-year sentence.

Johnson recently asked for a judicial review and sentence modification, claiming his conviction for shooting and killing Jonathan Hall was based on an “unfortunate accident” and reckless handling of a firearm.

He asked the court to probate the remainder of his sentence, and Associate District Judge Dennis Shook order the state’s Department of Corrections to compile a report on Johnson.

In the DOC report from the Division of Community Corrections, state officials base their recommendation on the “nature of Johnson’s offense and severity of his crime.”

They suggest Johnson be denied the sentence modification and serve the term recommended by a jury last year.

Since June 7, 2012, Johnson has been at the Lawton Correctional Facility, where he is on a waiting list to participate in anger management and substance-abuse education.

Officials also recommended Johnson attend a woodworking class.

The report says Johnson has not been assigned to an institutional job, but has requested one.

He has received no institutional misconducts.

Johnson is set to be eligible for parole in March 2037.

Shook has set a Nov. 26 hearing at 9 a.m. in Cherokee County District Court to address Johnson’s request for a sentence modification.

The DOC report indicates transportation has been arranged for Johnson’s return to court.