District Attorney Mike O’Dell announces the sentencing of an individual under the Habitual Offender status.
Earlier this week in DeKalb County, Judge Andrew Hairston sentenced Dennis John Johnson to 20 years in the state penitentiary for Attempted Assault 1st Degree – and 20 years on the charge of Certain Persons Forbidden to Possess a Firearm.
Johnson was additionally sentenced to 12 months for Attempting to Elude – and 12 months for Reckless Endangerment. He was sentenced on charges stemming from guilty verdicts returned by a DeKalb County jury on November 18th of last year (2020). Johnson was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Summer McWhorter and Assistant District Attorney Dennis Thompson.
Those charges stemmed from an April of 2018 chase through DeKalb County that involved numerous law enforcement officers. The chase began when Officer Dalton Veal and Officer Nick Turner, both then with the Ft Payne Police Department, attempted to stop a vehicle in downtown Ft Payne for a switched tag. The vehicle, being driven by Johnson, gained speed and led officers on a pursuit through Ft Payne, Hammondville, Valley Head, Mentone – then into Chattooga County, Georgia where the chase finally came to an end.
Over the course of the chase, numerous vehicles had to swerve out of the way of the fleeing vehicle. At one point, Hammondville Police Chief Gary Shavers attempted to deploy a spike strip when Johnson aimed his car at Shavers – barely missing him – as he jumped out of the way.
Johnson, a convicted felon – was found to be in possession of a firearm when he was finally taken into custody.