I still haven’t read all the depositions from the Jonesboro shooters yet, however, a couple of Arkansas news outlets have reported on them. So far, it seems like they’re just like every other school shooter who blames everyone but themselves for their actions. In a rare case the two shooters, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, blame each other for the attack. This is rare because not only are they the first pair of school shooters, they’re the only two still alive. The only other school shooting that had two shooters was Columbine, and those cretins took the easy way out.
In Golden’s deposition, he says the plan was all Mitchell’s idea claiming Mitchell believed he was in some sort of gang and wanted to get back at people over ‘gang stuff’. You know, because 11 and 12-year-olds are constantly running afoul of gangs (sarcasm) Golden also claims Johnson held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t comply.
In Johnson’s deposition, he claims the shooting, that claimed five lives, was Golden’s idea because Golden wanted to get people back to show he wasn’t a pushover.
Both said they don’t remember much about the shooting and said they were only trying to scare people even though bullets from their guns were found in each of their victims. Johnson even tried to claim he didn’t believe bullets would kill people.
These are similar claims made by school shooters of the era and since but these have only been made public recently. So it continues the trend of school shooters and plotters who, for the past 20 years, have largely failed to claim responsibility for their crimes. It will keep continuing until we responsibly raise our children to know how to act and cope in the real world.
Before there was Columbine, there was Jonesboro. On March 24, 1998, 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden shot and killed four students and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Eleven other people had also been injured. At the time of the shooting there was no law in the state of Arkansas that could keep the killers in prison beyond their 21st birthday. Since then, that loophole has been closed. Johnson was released in 2005, while Golden was released in 2007. While Golden, now going by the name of Drew Grant, has largely remained out of the public eye, Johnson was arrested in 2007 on drugs and weapons charges and in 2008 on theft charges. He was sentenced to 22 years but was paroled in 2015.
Yesterday, a Craighead County judge ruled the two killers owed the families of their victims a wrongful death settlement of $150 million. This lawsuit has been going on for almost two decades. The families realize they will never receive the settlement, but mostly filed the suit to have depositions from both shooters released to the public in order to try to prevent future school shootings. Neither killer was present at the ruling. Johnson’s depositions can be found here, while Golden’s can be found here. Due to time constraints, I haven’t been able to go through all of the depositions, however, I will be making a future post about them.
Another reason the families filed the lawsuit was to prevent Johnson and Golden, the only mass school shooters who have been released from jail, from making money from their story. While Arkansas does have a Son of Sam law in place, another infamous son of Arkansas, convicted child killer Damien Echols, has shown there are ways around that. Thanks to this lawsuit neither Johnson nor Golden will be able to make a dime from their mass murders and loophole release.
After Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden committed the school shooting at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that left five dead they were only sentenced to be held until their 21st birthdays. Back in 1998 Arkansas had no law where juveniles could be charged as adults. Golden was released in 2007 and is said to be living under the name of Drew Douglas Grant and has remained largely quiet since his release. Johnson was released in 2005 however it took him less than two years to be arrested on drugs and weapon charges.While awaiting trial on those charges Johnson was arrested again on theft charges. After it was all said and done Johnson was sentenced in 2008 to four years in federal prison for the drugs and weapon charge and another 18 on the state theft charges. So you’s think he’d be in prison until 2030 right? Wrong.
Johnson was sentenced to 12 years after being convicted in that 2008 incident and was to be eligible for parole in 2011, but then faced four more years for the earlier drug and weapons conviction from the traffic stop, the AP reported. Schisler confirmed the account. Court records show he was released in July 2015 into the custody of the U.S. Probation Office for the Southern District of Texas and placed in a drug rehabilitation program. The office did not respond to ABC News’ multiple requests for comment.
So yeah, he’s out, on parole but still out. I wonder how long it will be this time before he ends up back in jail again. I just hope that he doesn’t end up hurting someone to get there.
The other day I posted about how Andrew Golden/Drew Douglas Grant was denied a conceal and carry permit. Now investigators are looking into if any criminal charges could be filed. However the only charges that could be filed would be misdemeanors.
It’s also interesting to note that juvenile convictions that are expunged in any other case can apply to a denial of a conceal and carry permit.
As previously mentioned Golden/Grant lied on his application about various addresses he lived at and his fingerprints also identified him as one of the Jonesboro shooters.
Drew Douglas Grant of Evening Shade, Arkansas had applied for a conceal and carry permit but was denied by Arkansas State Police. So why is this newsworthy? It turns out that Drew Douglas Grant is the new legal name of the former Andrew Golden. The same Andrew Golden who participated in the Jonesboro massacre.
What made him think that request would be approved? I have a gut feeling that he wanted to conceal and carry for his own protection but he had to know that request would never be approved. At least he seems to be taking the legal route rather than just going out and carrying a gun like his cohort Mitchell Johnson.
The problem now becomes that Golden/Grant’s new identity has been made public which could lead to harassment or even worse vigilantism. Which I would imagine would be his reason for wanting the permit.
While I believe that Golden/Grant should at least be in prison for life for what he and Johnson did this may just be a case of someone who has actually been rehabilitated. But again in my opinion rehabilitation is the exception and not the rule.
A judge has ruled that information pertaining to Andrew Golden’s deposition will remain secret until the civil trial has come to an end.
Golden was one of the Jonesboro gunman and is named as a defendant in a wrongful death suit.
Since his release from prison Golden has stayed out of the public eye unlike his cohort Mitchell Johnson. Golden has since changed his name and attends school.
A lawyer has argued that Golden’s information should be made public so people could be informed if a mass murderer is living in their neighborhood.
While I think that both Johnson and Golden should be serving at least a life sentence for those that killed at Jonesboro the law it was it is and it seems that Golden has made the best of his second chance.
Granted that his victims don’t have the luxury of a second chance but if you chase him down with ‘pitchforks and torches’ then don’t the villagers become the monster?
The attorney for the Jonesboro shooter that hasn’t been rearrested, yet, Andrew Golden, is filing a petition to keep a deposition private. The deposition is for a wrongful death suit stemming from the Jonesboro shooting.
Apparently Golden is trying to keep a low profile. He seems to be learning from Mitchell Johnson’s mistakes.
The Sheriff who represents the same county where Jonesboro shooter Andre Golden used to live says he can’t guarantee Golden’s safety if he returns to Arkansas.
Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann said hostility toward Golden and accomplice Mitchell Johnson still remains nine years after they opened fire on those fleeing Jonesboro Westside Middle School during a fake fire drill. The shootings were on people’s minds again Friday, as Golden turned 21 and likely left federal custody a free man for the first time.
“It’s a concern because there’s still a lot of hostility towards him and Mitchell Johnson,” said McCann, who was the county’s chief deputy in 1998. “I really don’t think any of the family members would do something to them; I think somebody out here would want to do something for the notoriety.”
Did the sheriff just serve a warning or declare open season?
Andrew Golden is one of the gunmen from the Jonesboro school shooting. Today is his 21st birthday meaning that more than likely he will be released from jail today. At the time of their conviction there was a loophole in Arkansas state law that prevented Golden and cohort Mitchell Johnson from being kept behind bars longer than they’re 21st birthday. Johnson was released 2 years ago. Now it’s Golden’s turn. He’ll be out on the streets with a clean slate and no probation.
It only took Johnson 18 months to get in trouble with the law again. I wonder how long it will take before Golden has his next run in with the law.