BLOOMINGTON — A Normal man has been convicted of four counts of attempted murder, and one count of home invasion and four of aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with an October 2012 incident that left four people injured.
A McLean County jury deliberated about four hours before convicting Ross Johnson, 21, of forcing his way into a party at an apartment in the 1100 block of Gettysburg Drive and firing several shots through a door.
“This is the correct verdict and the right verdict,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Sanborn said after the verdict was read. “The residents of McLean County can rest easier tonight knowing that Ross Johnson will remain in jail.”
During police interviews following the incident, witnesses identified the shooter as Johnson. However, several were uncooperative during the trial.
“Anytime you have uncooperative witnesses, it is a concern,” Sanborn said. “But the Bloomington Police Department did a great job with the investigation and the evidence clearly pointed at Johnson.”
Testimony revealed that Johnson and his brother, Malcolm, were in a group asked to leave a party attended by as many as 60 people. The brothers and two others returned and prosecutors say Malcolm Johnson made his way into the party and punched Chris Lipscomb.
Lipscomb was one of those injured. All have recovered.
During five days of testimony in the Ross Johnson trial and Malcolm Johnson’s trial in May, witnesses refused to answer questions and in some cases had to be restrained by court security and scolded by the judge to act as adults while on the witness stand.
After the verdict was read, Johnson turned to supporters in the room before he was transferred back to his cell.
Defense lawyer Brendan Bukalski said “as tragic as the shooting was, the verdict, after a well-thought-out, weeklong battle, was equally tragic to us.”
Ross, who is facing a potential 50-year prison term when he is sentenced Dec. 3, was “understandably upset and disagrees with the jury’s decision,” said Bukalski.
Malcolm Johnson was acquitted in May of aggravated battery with a firearm and home invasion but was convicted of criminal trespass. He is serving four years on that charge and an additional nine years on unrelated theft and burglary cases.