Oakland man found guilty of shooting third girlfriend
By Paul T. Rosynsky
Article Created: 06/03/2008 06:20:02 PM PDT
OAKLAND — A six-time convicted felon, found guilty twice in the past for shooting girlfriends, was convicted for a third time Tuesday, but this time, William "Mookie" Johnson will probably never be a free man again.
A jury of eight men and four women took only two hours to find Johnson guilty of six felony counts, including attempted murder, for the shooting of Nicole Henderson, 38, last year in front of a day care center where she worked.
Johnson, 45, will face a minimum of 37 years to life in prison when he is sentenced this summer. The sentence will most likely be raised to at least 72 years to life in prison once Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman officially decides Johnson was a convicted felon.
"I'm very relieved because the jury came to the right conclusion and their verdict means that Mookie Johnson is going to spend the rest of his life in prison," said deputy district attorney Casey Bates, who tried the case. "That is where he really belongs."
Johnson shot Henderson in front of the Oakland Parent-Teacher Child Care Center near East Ninth Street and 35th Avenue on Jan. 2, 2007, because she broke up with him.
Henderson called off the two-year relationship days before because she said Johnson began using drugs again.
The breakup angered Johnson and resulted in him leaving numerous threatening messages on her cell phone, evidence in the trial revealed. In one of the last messages he left,Johnson warned Henderson that he was going to hunt her down.
"I'm going come to your job, I'm going to check your (expletive) and I'm going to put one in you," Johnson said in the message.
Nevertheless, when Johnson called back a few days later, Henderson agreed to meet him at her work in order to give him some paperwork he said he needed to re-enter a drug rehabilitation clinic.
Henderson said during the trial that she agreed to the meeting because Johnson sounded more resigned to the fact that the relationship was over and she believed he was going to arrive with his sister, an Alameda County probation officer.
Instead, Johnson came alone and after a brief moment looking through Henderson's car for personal items, he shot her twice while she had her back turned to him.
One bullet entered her left arm, destroying the bicep and rendering the arm basically useless. The other bullet entered her back, a half-inch left of her spine. If the bullet had hit her spine, she could have died.
Though Henderson did not see Johnson pull the trigger, she and two other witnesses testified that he was the only other person besides Henderson in the immediate area. Henderson also said that after she fell to the ground, she could see Johnson walking back to his car and driving away.
Johnson's two former girlfriends he shot testified during the trial.
Juan Hernandez, Johnson's defense attorney, argued during the trial that his client was innocent and since nobody saw Johnson shoot the gun, there was not evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the shooter.
Jury members didn't agree and found Johnson guilty of attempted murder, felony domestic violence, assault with a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and mayhem.
"There wasn't a strong defense case that indicated an alternative," one juror said after the verdict. "There was a lot of clout given to the (testimony) of the victim herself."
Only in Ca can a six-time convicted felon still be walking around on the streets.