BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) Jason Johnson is on trial in Broome County Court for allegedly shooting New York State Trooper Becky Seager in June of last year; his father David is also accused of tampering with evidence.
Following yesterday’s witnesses, the prosecution rested.
Today, the trial continued with Defense Attorney Michael Spano calling up the defendant Jason Johnson to the stand.
Jason testifies that on June 9th, 2021, he did not intend to harm or murder anyone.
Jason did confess to etching threatening phrases in the road, outside of his neighbor Steve Warner’s house.
One of which said snitches get stitches, which prompted Warner to report the drawings to the police.
When an officer arrived on scene, Jason says he was confused why law enforcement was there in the first place, and that the officer did not give Jason any information regarding what was going on.
Under cross examination, Broome County District Attorney Mike Korchak argued that Jason should have been aware that what he wrote in the roadway warranted a call to the police.
Jason seemed casually confident throughout his testimony.
After the first officer arrived, Jason made it back into his house to retrieve a weapon.
He says that he is a legal gun owner and hunter, and wanted to show to the police that he was not afraid to fire on his own property.
Jason testified that he did shoot three vehicles with the 270 hunting rifle that night, with the goal of scaring law enforcement off of the property.
Regarding Trooper Seager, Jason says that he saw a truck parked in the roadway, and assumed it was a police vehicle.
He shot the rear end of the truck in hopes of frightening off the officers.
Throughout the trial, it was determined that Jason actually shot the truck of Everett Butler.
Butler and his girlfriend were driving through the area when Trooper Becky Seager got out of her vehicle to stop and redirect them in the opposite direction.
Jason says that he did not see anyone down by the vehicle at the time that he fired, but he did say he heard what seemed to sound like a faint scream.
Jason became emotional when testifying, saying that he had no idea that the truck was a civilian’s vehicle, and, that Butler’s girlfriend was pregnant and in the passenger seat.
The defendant says that he ended up sleeping on a bed of hay in a barn on their property.
When he woke up the following morning he says that he gathered some fishing supplies and paddled for several hours downstream to the Paugh’s residence.
When he arrived at their property, homeowner Earl Paugh invited Jason inside a trailer on the bank of the river to unwind and gather himself.
Jason says that he did not know that people were searching for him until he talked with Paugh. Jason also testifies that he was not aware that a Trooper was shot until talking with Paugh the next day.
Within an hour and a half of resting in the trailer, the police arrived and took Jason into custody.
Jason says that he was not told why he was arrested, and admits to lying to questions throughout the interrogation process thereafter.
Following several hours of Jason’s testimony, the defense rests.