Man pleas to avoid jury
Shawn Dale Johnson, 39, of Vernon, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver rather than face a jury that was to be seated in his trial. As the result of a plea bargain, Johnson was sentenced to 19 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
On April 27, 2021, a Vernon police officer was on patrol when he saw Johnson in the backseat of a vehicle that was pulling into a residence on Yamparika Street. The officer knew that Johnson had a felony warrant for his arrest. The officer detained Johnson and contacted dispatch to verify the warrant. After being told that he would be arrested, Johnson informed the officer that he had drugs in his pocket. The officer located two baggies containing a total of 30 grams of methamphetamine in the pocket of Johnson’s jeans.
The punishment range in Johnson’s case was increased because of multiple prior felony convictions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, including for robbery and possession of methamphetamine. He was represented by David Rasmussen of Wichita Falls.