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THE SHOOTING MURDERS OF ERIC JARMIN - PROFESSOR JOSEPH BITTENGLE - AKSHAYA NANDAM

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Feb 9 09 7:01 PM

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 Eric Jarmin (24), UAMS Professor Joseph Bittengle, and Akshaya Nandam (26), 
were gunned down by brutal thugs. 
 
Brandon Johnson (20), Shamar Womack (29), and Victoria McCoy are under
arrest for the murders and police say "there still could be one more person at large."
 
Police are saying they believe Johnson, Womack and McCoy were deliberately
targeting Hispanics, or those they mistook for Hispanics, because of a "misconception
that Hispanics distrust banks and carry a lot of cash."
 
Prosecutors deem Johnson a "cold blooded killer and a danger to society."
None of the three were allowed out on bond.
 
Little Rock Police say Johnson is responsible for at least a dozen robberies since
November, 2008. In three attacks, the victim was shot and killed.

Brandon Johnson is charged with three counts of capital murder and several counts
of aggravated robbery.
 

Photo: Brandon Johnson
 

Shamar Womack is charged with aggravated robbery and battery.

Photo: Shamar Womack


Victoria McCoy, Johnson's girlfriend, is charged with using one of the victim's credit cards.
 
More charges are likely to be filed.
 
 
Brandon Johnson "I did nothing, I'm gonna get my lawyer."
 

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#1 [url]

Feb 17 10 12:28 PM

2010 - March - 11- A mental competency hearing for Brandon Johnson will be held.
                             Defense attorneys state their client is mentally retarded. Dr. Simon,
                             who attempted to evaluate Johnson in prison refutes their claim.
 
                            

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#2 [url]

Jul 2 10 10:25 AM

                        TRIAL DATE:   August 2010 for slaying of Eric Jarmin  
                           Trial Date: November 2010 for slaying of Joseph Bittengle
 
                           No trial dates set yet for the slaying of Akshaya Nandam
                           or for the other robberies & shootings.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson "Prosecutors plan to use evidence from
 all three of the killings at Brandon Johnson's August trial."
 
CHARGES: 3 counts of capital murder, 14 counts of aggravated robbery, 2 counts of
                  aggravated residential burglary, 9counts of first degree battery and 10
                  counts of theft.
 
2010 - March 12 - Prosecutors drop Death Penalty against Brandon Dewayne 
                           Johnson, instead seek Life sentence.

                           Brandon Dewayne Johnson's IQ tests out at 55 - Arkansas law and
                           U.S. Supreme Court precedent bar the execution of defendants with
                           an IQ of 65 or below. Doctors deem Johnson "mentally retarded."


Dr. Brian Rush Simpson (Forensic Psychiatrist, State Hospital) "I found Brandon
Johnson to have mild mental retardation." "The defendant has no history of mental
illness."
 
"Johnson's claim of hearing voices in his head is more likely an indication of his low
IQ, than an indicator that he is schizophrenic. People with mental retardation regularly
report hearing voices, which are actually the internal monologue that most people have
while thinking."

Dr. Buhushan "Shawn" Agharkar (Defense Psychiatrist, Georgia) "The defendant   

puts up a good front, but careful questioning shows Johnson is unfit to stand trial."

 

Johnson "parrots" what others tell him in an effort to please them, but doesn't have

sufficient understanding of the accusations against him or how the legal system

works to stand trial.

 

"It really tells you this is a guy you have to be careful with ... because he'll look at

you like he understands. He tries to please you. He tries to play down his cognitive

difficulties." As an example, Johnson initially was enamored with John Johnson,

the prosecutor, thinking that Johnson wanted to set him free. He thought the

prosecuting attorney was cool. He should know the prosecuting attorney is against

him, not on his side."


                                       COMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL

                           As soon as it medical evidence established Johnson's IQ, his 
                           defense moved to have him deemed incompetent to stand trial.

                           Prosecutors presented letters from Johnson that he wrote:
                           1) Johnson tried to persuade a friend to claim ownership of a
                               pair of bloodied jeans.

                           2) Johnson demonstrated that he knows the murder weapon, 
                               which was found under his girlfriend's couch, near the  
                               bloodied jeans, had been stolen.

                            The defense disputed the authenticity of the letters.


           Circuit Judge Marion Humphrey "Johnson is competent to stand trial."


 

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#3 [url]

Jul 9 10 6:08 PM

                                      PLEA DEAL 

2010 - July 9 -  Brandon Dewayne Johnson entered a plea deal yesterday, July 8, 2010.

                       Johnson was deemed competent to stand trial but has instead
                       pled Guilty for the deaths of:

                       Professor Joseph Bittengle  - December 2008
                       Eric Jarman                          - January 2009
                       Askshaya Nandam                - January 2009

The plea deal:
 
100 year sentence - he'll have to serve 55 1/2 years before becoming eligible
                                for parole.


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