Thompson pleas in Johnson murder case

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The murder of Hank Johnson has come to a close. Trae Thompson entered a plea and accepted 15 months for Criminally Negligent Homicide this week in a Robertson County Courtroom. Thompson, sentenced to 15 months for the 5-year-old murder, has roughly 7 months remaining of his sentence. Thompson received credit for time served awaiting trial for the 2008 murder, however Robertson County DA and Thompson attorney reached an agreement negating the necessity of a trial.
“I have mixed emotions,” said Sandy Johnson, mother of the victim, “I’m grateful that it is over and done with. We (the family) gets closure, but Hank’s murderer got the bare minimum.”
Thompson in fact could have been sentenced to 24 months, the maximum punishment for Criminally Negligent Homicide.
“This case was five years old, if I had a time machine and could go back to the beginning, maybe things would have turned out differently,” said Robertson County DA. “We are happy that we got the plea agreement and we are sure we got the right person, but with a lack of physical evidence, this was the best turnout possible.”
“I really want to thank everyone that worked so hard on the case,” said Johnson, “from the local newspapers and all the media to the current Robertson County DA. Coty did the best that could be done and the family is grateful.” Hank Johnson’s son Brandon, now 16 said, “At least we got something and that is better than nothing at all.” Johnson’s daughter is now 10 years old.
Thompson will be released sometime over the summer of 2014.
In July of 2008, Hank Johnson was severely beaten and left for dead at the Executive Inn on Highway 6 in Hearne. Johnson died 11 days later at St. Joseph’s Hospital from injuries sustained during the beating.

Dennis Phillips / Publisher

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