Johnson Sentenced in HIV-related charges

Cayla Brown | Staff Reporter 
Published July 13, 2015; 

Former Lindenwood student Michael Johnson
Former Lindenwood student Michael Johnson

After being found guilty in five of the six HIV-related charges in May of this year, former Lindenwood student Michael Johnson was sentenced to 30 years in prison on July 13, 2015.

Johnson was arrested in October 2013 following a four-month investigation. His jury trial began May 11 and lasted five days.

Johnson was convicted on May 15, 2015 of one count of recklessly infecting another with HIV when actor is knowingly infected with HIV and four counts of recklessly risking infection of another.

The jury then recommended sentences of 30 years, 14 years and three five and one half years for the charges. This recommendation could have given a sentence of up to 62 years if served consecutively.

Johnson’s motion for a new trial was denied.

Judge Jon Cunningham heard one of the victim’s impact statements. The victim explained his struggles because of becoming HIV positive.

He said, “This has changed all of us for more than the next 60 years.”

Johnson’s defense attorney, Heather Donovan, argued for the minimum sentence of 10 years. She cited that Johnson was a young man with no criminal record.

In a final statement, Johnson said, “HIV has had a negative effect on my life and family. I would not want anyone else to go through this pain.”

Cunningham sentenced Johnson to serve the maximum of each charge concurrently, or at the same time. Johnson will be in prison for 30 years with no probation allowed.

He can appeal this sentence.

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