.44 caliber Christmas

Marine killed television and neighbors’ sense of security

Attorney Ozols with Christopher Johnson
  • Attorney Ozols with Christopher Johnson

A Marine who admitted firing a gun inside his Vista apartment, sending one shot through the front door and into the neighbors’ apartment, was sentenced to probation and "veterans' court” yesterday, May 16.

The night of December 25, Christopher Michael Johnson, 26, was arrested after he fired four .44 caliber rounds in a drunken spree.

Johnson immediately paid a $2000 fee to All Pro Bail Bonds, which guaranteed his $25,000 bail. He has been at liberty since.

Last month, Johnson admitted one felony count of unlawful discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling; in the plea deal, one charge of grossly negligent discharge was dismissed.

Two rounds went through his television set, one round went through a patio door and was not recovered, and the shot through his front door passed into his neighbors’ apartment, according to prosecutor Marnie Layon.

The neighbors, identified as James and Alexis, were asleep at the time and were unhurt. According to the prosecutor, the couple moved away because they feared the “reckless conduct” of Johnson. Judge Carlos Armour yesterday granted a protective order for the couple, per the prosecutor’s request.

Johnson’s attorney told the court that his client served overseas defending his country and now suffers PTSD and “sleepwalking episodes.” The judge wryly noted that his neighbors now also suffer PTSD.

The prosecutor stated that Johnson has “escalating alcoholic-driven out-of-control behavior,” and pointed out that she was the attorney who had accepted his plea in a DUI case just two weeks before the drunken indoors-shooting incident. The prosecutor further claimed that Johnson was caught tampering with his SCRAM device, trying to interfere with its alcohol-sensing abilities.

The prosecutor requested 365 days in custody and that the eight firearms confiscated from Johnson be destroyed.

Judge Armour declared Johnson’s prior record to be “insignificant” and said he found the defendant “remorseful” and granted three years’ probation. The judge said Johnson could sell his firearms through a licensed firearms dealer and that his family could keep the proceeds.

The judge ordered Johnson to appear in San Diego’s East County Courthouse on June 6 and submit to veterans’ court at that time.

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Apparently "Christmas Carols with the Kardashians" was showing that night (on all channels), and after about 4 minutes Johnson couldn't take any more and committed TVcide. I'm surprised he didn't use a shoulder-fired missile on that TV.

Despite repeated inquiries, no one will reveal what was on the television that night. Defense position is that Johnson was sleepwalking and has no memory of the incident at all. In fact, they do not admit that the television was even on. Apparently four .44 caliber shots did not wake this sound sleepwalker ! According to defense attorney Ozols, after 18 successful months with "veterans' court," the entire case can be dismissed.


I was just joking. And it made me think of Elvis, who reportedly would get mad at what was on TV, then take our his revolver and shoot his TV. Then he'd just order a new one.

When I saw that photo, at first I was confused. The most upright looking guy was the Marine, and the shifty-looking, unshaved one was the attorney. These shysters need to pay more attention to their appearance, that is unless they really want to look about the way their clientele looks.

You don't have to be clean shaven to be "upright"; a lot of defense attorneys have long hair, too. It doesn't mean they are "shysters" because of their hair styles.

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