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Jury finds 'Grandmaster Jay' guilty on both counts

Johnson was arrested on December 3, 2020 at his Ohio home and charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The jury has found John Johnson, otherwise known as "Grandmaster Jay," guilty on both counts and will remain in custody until Aug. 22. This will also be his sentencing date.

Tuesday was the opening day of his trial.

He's the leader of NFAC, an armed black militia group that came to Louisville to protest the death of Breonna Taylor.

Johnson was indicted on federal charges last year.

The day mainly served as a time for the jury to hear from witnesses the United States Prosecutor called to the stand.

Johnson was seen in court and was shown support by other members of NFAC who were seen dressed in all black for today's start of trial.

After giving some background on the case, The United States Attorney Joseph Ansari showed multiple video angles alleging Johnson, in September 2020, pointed an AR-15 assault rifle in the direction of officers who were staked out on the roof of the grand jury building near Jefferson Square Park.

RELATED: NFAC leader 'Grandmaster Jay' indicted by Jefferson County grand jury

The prosecutor and defense both acknowledge that before NFAC came to town, Johnson, a local activist, city officials and LMPD officials all got together on a virtual call to talk logistics and to work together to keep people safe.

They said they made it very clear to Johnson to keep their guns pointed down in what is called the low ready position. 

However, videos allege he had it in the high ready position, pointed up, at officers and officials with the FBI.

Johnson's attorney, Don Meier, said he was not looking to shoot anyone on the rooftop; rather he was purportedly shining his light because they had heard reports that teens may be on the roof with paintball guns.

They also highlighted NFAC's original visit to Louisville in July 2020 when they marched from Baxter Park to the Metro Hall steps.

It was revealed there was an accidental discharge of a firearm that injured a couple of people back then.

Johnson was arrested on December 3, 2020 at his Ohio home and charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees.

The first witness to take the stand was former LMPD major Aubrey Gregory, who was the Commander of Special Operations and helped coordinate safety plans during many of 2020's protests.

RELATED: March 13, 2020 | 2 years-730 days since Breonna Taylor was shot 6 times, killed during LMPD's no-knock warrant raid

He says he was on these calls with Johnson and actually had a good relationship with him in terms of keeping communication open.

Many of the pieces of evidence he was asked to review were maps and photos of the angle that Johnson would have been standing at from the steps showing he could clearly see the Grand Jury building in Louisville.

Gregory said Johnson was made aware that officers would be on the roof and any pointing of guns at them could result in a shootout, so he said he isn't sure why Johnson allegedly pointed his gun up to them.

FBI Special Agent Orrin Ambrose, another witness, helped execute Johnson's arrest.

Orrin said law enforcement officials called for Johnson to come out but there wasn't an answer. He said they used a bearcat vehicle to get the door open, and flew a drone through the house to make sure it was safe. He said Johnson soon came outside.

The AR-15 was found in the house at this time.

The final witness was an FBI firearm examiner. She was there to explain the examination process, and that she was the agent that examined Johnson's AR-15.

The jurors will hear from more witnesses over the next couple of days. Johnson's defense attorneys declined to speak.

Johnson plans to testify.

Members of the NFAC were present and wore black in the courtroom.

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