Breaking News
More () »

Jury finds leader of Black militia group guilty on two counts

They found John Johnson guilty of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers engaged in official duty, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The trial for John Johnson, also known as "Grandmaster Jay," finished Friday after four days.

The jury found Johnson guilty of two counts, the first being assaulting, resisting or impeding officers engaged in official duty. The second is brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Johnson will remain in custody until his sentence hearing, which is set for Aug. 22. His defense attorneys said they will submit a motion for a new trial.

Johnson was arrested on Dec. 3, 2020 following federal officials accusing him of pointing an assault rifle at officers back in September 2020.

Johnson testified Thursday. Friday, both the US Attorney and the defense offered their cross-examinations of Johnson's testimony.

During the cross-examination, the prosecutor said he should know gun safety considering it was revealed Thursday that he was a cloud architect in the U.S. Army, and was in the army for 17 years.

RELATED: Percy Phillips trial: Commonwealth not seeking retrial for 30-year-old case

The prosecutors closing arguments mentioned how Johnson was made aware, through multiple virtual meetings with city officials, that police would be on the rooftops.

The prosecution showed additional footage from that night saying Johnson, in his testimony, believed he was the only one with a tactical flashlight on his gun. However, the prosecutor said they could see two others with flashlights in the videos.

The defense's closing arguments started with how they believed the opinion is racially motivated and that he was well within his second amendment right.

They also said the big key point is the charges come down to knowing Johnson's intent, which they said was to not threaten anyone.

The defense also claimed Johnson had been given word that teenagers were on the roof shooting people with paintball guns, and said he was shining his light up to see who was on the roof.

RELATED: Jury finds 'Grandmaster Jay' guilty on both counts

The defense said Johnson was never arrested that night, attended the march from the Kentucky Derby the next day and walked away a free man. They said the trial doesn't make sense because if the US Attorney viewed him as a threat they wondered why he wasn't pursued until three months later at his Ohio home.

Johnson is the leader of a Black militia group called "NFAC."

Members of the group were in the courtroom to support Johnson. When they heard the verdict, members broke out into tears.

The day ended with NFAC members raising their fists and chanting "Black Power" and Johnson telling them he loves them.

All parties declined to comment.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out