Competency Opinion Sought In Ohio Fatal Shooting Case in Belmont County
The Lewisville man accused in a fatal shooting that occurred Dec. 12 along Ohio 800 south of Somerton is contesting his competency evaluation.
As a result, his trial date was continued until a second opinion can be obtained.
Harold Wayne Johnson Jr., 46, of 32302 Firehouse Road, Lewisville is charged with aggravated murder with a firearm specification in the shooting of Clint A. Stephens, 28, of Jerusalem. Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, reports indicate the two men met on the side of Ohio 800 and that Johnson exited his vehicle and allegedly shot Stephens, who was still inside his car. Johnson was arrested 15 minutes later by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies.
Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra presided at the hearing Monday. Public Defender Frank Pierce has requested another evaluation in connection with Johnson’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. As a result of his first evaluation, Johnson was found competent to stand trial, which the defense agrees with; however, the evaluation also found Johnson was sane at the time of the incident, and the defense contests that finding and has asked for a second opinion.
Pierce will select a new doctor to perform a second evaluation by Friday. The doctor will have a minimum of 30 days to complete a report, and a new trial date will be set after the second evaluation is complete.
In other matters:
∫ Terrell Bruce Allen, 31, of 909 Hughes Ave., Martins Ferry pleaded guilty to having weapons under disability. He was sentenced to one year in prison, to be served concurrently with a two-year sentence handed down in federal court. The prosecution noted the weapons under disability incident occurred at the same time as the drug-related federal offense. The defense added that the possession of a gun contributed to the decision to impose a two-year federal sentence.
∫ David Ernest Britton, 33, of 252 Kruger St., Wheeling, was sentenced for trafficking in drugs in the vicinity of a school on Dec. 13, 2014. He was given two one-year terms in prison, to be served consecutively with credit for 110 days served. His driver’s license was suspended for one year.
Vavra noted Britton’s criminal record includes breaking and entering, burglary and receiving stolen property, as well as three prior prison sentences.
∫ Thomas Michael Breeden, 22, of 23306 W. 23rd St., Bellaire was sentenced on two counts of trafficking in drugs on May 27, 2014. He will serve up to six months in jail and six months at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center when space is available. A violation will result in a sentence of three years.