COA affirms pro se defendant’s conviction of stalking prosecutor

WINSTON JOHNSON V. COM.
CRIMINAL: Stalking First Degree
2006-CA-001264
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING IN PART AND VACATING AND REMANDING IN PART
PANEL:  THOMPSON PRESIDING; NICKELL AND STUMBO CONCUR
COUNTY: MONROE
DATE RENDERED: 2/15/2008

CA affirmed in part and reversed in part Defendant’s convictions and sentence for 4 counts of stalking the local county attorney. The lack of a hearing to determine whether Johnson’s activity was constitutionally protected was a consequence of his pro se representation and not a basis for reversal of the jury’s verdict. There was ample evidence to support a reasonable conclusion that Johnson’s conduct during the two-month period during his interaction with the county attorney constituted stalking in the first-degree as defined in KRS 508.130. He stood visibly outside the office holding threatening signs and wearing clothing with intimidating language directed at Stephens. As time passed, he became increasingly threatening toward Stephens to the point of standing directly in front of his office while armed with a gun. Stephens and his staff testified that Johnson’s actions caused them to fear for their safety.

However, CA reversed and remanded convictions for 3 of the 4 stalking counts. Commonwealth stipulated that Jonson’s conduct constituted a continuing course of action, and thus, counts 2-4 constituted violations of double jeopardy. CA remanded case for resentencing.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd
www.olginandbyrd.com

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