Arizona

Apr 22, 2014 2:07 PM by Faye DeHoff

State Prison inmate gets additional time for stabbing inmate

FLORENCE - An inmate at the Arizona State Prison Eyman Complex has been sentenced for the stabbing of a fellow inmate in 2009.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles says 25-year old Vance Johnson was sentenced to a 28-year term to be served at Arizona Department of Corrections after stabbing an in January 2009, resulting in the victim's severe brain injury.

According to the Arizona DOC Criminal Investigative Report, on January 11, 2009, inmates from Housing Unit 7 - Able and Baker Controls, within Arizona DOC's Eyman Complex, were returning from evening chow when an argument stemming from an incident earlier in the day, reignited between four inmates.

In a hallway connecting the two pods, Johnson, one of the four, attacked the 48-year old victim, stabbing him twice with a makeshift knife-like instrument. It was later found by investigators using a plumbing snake to retrieve it from the toilet in the cell where Johnson was housed.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office charged Johnson with one count of Dangerous or Deadly Assault by a Prisoner, a class 2 Dangerous Felony and one count of Premeditated Attempted First Degree Murder, a class 2 Dangerous Felony. The County Attorney's Office also alleged three aggravating circumstances.

After a four-day trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict as to the Assault, acquitted on the Attempted First Degree Murder and found the State proved each of the three aggravating circumstances.

On Monday, April 14, Honorable Judge Georgini sentenced Johnson to 28 years, flat time.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles stated, "Ignoring crime occurring in our jails and prisons only breeds further violence and these dangerous individuals committing crimes against fellow inmates or correctional personnel no longer escape prosecution in Pinal. For too long prosecutors in this County treated crimes arising from prison as less vital to seek justice; Johnson now has an additional and significant term to contemplate our change in policy behind bars."

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