CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Junction assault suspect charged

(WSB photo, New Year’s Day)

The man accused of attacking another man who tried to stop him from assaulting a woman in The Juncton is now charged. We first reported on the incident New Year’s Day. 39-year-old James M.Johns is charged with second-degree assault, his bail upped to $150,000. Charging documents say Johns has 10 felony convictions in 20 years, including burglary and possession of a stolen car, and 10 misdemeanors, including two DUIs. The original call on New Year’s Day reported a man beating a woman who was on the ground at California/Edmunds; they had left before police arrived but witnesses pointed their car and police stopped it. Meantime, they found the victim, who told police he had been walking from the grocery store with his wife and two children when he saw Johns beating the woman. As a third man, who apparently knew Johns, tried to break it up, the victim told Johns to leave the woman alone – and then, court documents say, Johns punched him in the face, hard enough to break a bone. As for the woman who had been attacked, police say she denied having been assaulted, and that as they took Johns away, he gave that woman his PIN number so she could get money to bail him out. The jail register shows he got out on bond after one day when his bail was set at $10,000, but when the charge was filed Monday, it was raised to $150,000 this past Monday, and the register shows he’s been back in custody since then. His arraignment is set for January 16th.

32 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Junction assault suspect charged"

  • McGruff January 10, 2020 (7:01 am)

    10 felony priors in 20 years? I thought we had a ‘3 strikes’ policy.  Am I missing something here, or is City Attorney Pete Holmes in full ‘catch and release’ mode?

    • WSB January 10, 2020 (7:45 am)

      Three strikes does not and has never meant three felonies. It’s three specific types of crimes.

    • Azimuth January 10, 2020 (8:13 am)

      Beginning to wonder if a points system like a driver’s license would be better. 🙄

      • WSB January 10, 2020 (8:32 am)

        There IS a point system used in sentencing recommendations. From the RCW:

        • Azimuth January 10, 2020 (10:08 pm)

          That is interesting information but I was leaning towards “x points and you’re out”. Yes, I’m being a bit facetious but also frustrated.

    • wscommuter January 10, 2020 (9:53 am)

      The “three strikes law” (persistent offender statute) applies only to violent crimes – Assault 2 being such an offense, so if this knucklehead is convicted, he will earn a strike.  However, his prior felonies do count as “points” which will enhance his prison sentence according to the sentencing grid established by the legislature.  See the hyperlink provided by the WSB (Thx!).  And finally, Pete Holmes, which is to say, the City Attorney’s office, does not prosecute felonies – those are exclusively prosecuted by the King County Prosecutor’s Office, which I am sure, will appropriately prosecute this individual.  But to be clear – if you don’t like the punishment that the law provides for, gripe to your legislators – they are the ones who set the sentencing requirements.  Judges have nominal discretion within those to impose sentences.

      • ACG January 10, 2020 (2:32 pm)

        WSC-  do you know how/if legislators review sentencing guidelines?  For example- do they review them automatically every 5 years (or some other timeframe)  or do they review it on a case by case basis?  Is there a specific committee that does review/recommendations or does a single legislator have to introduce a bill?  Sorry if these are ignorant questions…..

        • wscommuter January 10, 2020 (6:00 pm)

          The legislature can review sentencing guidelines/ranges/point, etc. whenever they want to.   There is no  schedule to do so.  

    • Will S. January 10, 2020 (10:13 am)

      McGruff the crime dog is missing a few other things. In Washington, city attorneys prosecute only misdemeanor offenses, so we can be sure that Pete Holmes had absolutely nothing to do with the 10 felony convictions or the sentencing decisions in those cases. We blog commenters also have no way of knowing where any these prior felonies and misdemeanors occurred–for all we know, they could have been prosecuted in other cities, counties, or states. (In case you’re wondering, Washington’s three strikes law tries to account for out-of-state offenses that would be equivalent to “strike” offenses under Washington law.) Finally, we can see that prosecutors somewhere have gone to the trouble of obtaining convictions for a whopping 20 offenses so far, including the 10 misdemeanors, which is the complete opposite of the light record we would expect to see if prosecutors were content to play a “catch-and-release” game. Judging from the court’s decision to hike this guy’s bail from $10,000 to $150,000 after seeing his lengthy criminal record, his high offender score will make him an excellent candidate for a sentence at or near the maximum end of the range–or, if this makes his third strike (since second-degree assault is a “strike” offense), he could be facing a practical lifetime in prison. Anyway, it’s terrible both that this woman has suffered such unspeakable violence and that the courageous stranger who confronted the attacker got a broken face for his trouble. I hope they both heal.

  • michaela January 10, 2020 (7:16 am)

    Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-562-6025 (8am-5pm every day)National Domestic Violence Hotline1-800-799-SAFE (24 hours every day)

    • HS January 10, 2020 (10:19 am)

      Thank you @michaela. Whomever you are, know that being hit and humiliated are NOT normal relationship behaviors. It is not what other people experience in their relationships.

  • flimflam January 10, 2020 (8:23 am)

    so the woman who he was beating up denied being beaten up and was going to bail him out? huh?

  • MarblesL January 10, 2020 (9:14 am)

    Is this the same guy that crashed a stolen RV into a person’s home, stripped to his skivvies, and then demanded new clothes from some kids so that he could evade the cops?   I’m more into rehabilitation than long prison sentences, but this guy is a public menace.  Time to put him away.

    • WSB January 10, 2020 (9:23 am)

      Age would be in the ballpark. The court documents did not go into specifics of other convictions, however.

    • NA January 10, 2020 (10:01 am)

      Same guy.  Same name in the stolen RV article, James M. Johns.

      • CAM January 10, 2020 (10:23 am)

        A simple Google search for “James johns Seattle” turned up at least 17 different people of varying ages in the first hit. It’s not that unique a name. 

    • Alex S. January 10, 2020 (4:08 pm)

      Wow – a beat up RV found in a Walmart parking lot driven by a drugged-up serial felon who rams cops, nearly kills some pedestrians,  crashes it in Granite Falls and runs away nearly naked.  That pretty much checks all the stereotype boxes.  Drugs for the win!

      • Doobie us January 11, 2020 (7:36 am)

        And beats his woman. How do they always seem to end up in West Seattle? 

  • Airwolf January 10, 2020 (9:54 am)

    “police say she denied having been assaulted”  So was she being assaulted or not? maybe there’s cctv footage.. 

    • CAM January 10, 2020 (10:20 am)

      It is not uncommon for victims of abuse to deny being abused. That’s what makes domestic violence cases particularly difficult to prosecute. It is very rare that they will be prosecuted without the victims cooperation. As to your question, I don’t think you need video evidence. It sounds like there were a large number of eye witnesses. 

      • Elton January 10, 2020 (12:50 pm)

        I expect that he’s being charged for hitting the good Samaritan rather than the presumed domestic violence. Sad situation, but glad he’s off the streets for now.

    • WSREZ January 10, 2020 (11:04 am)

      Airwolf, It’s appearing to be a case of domestic violence, therefor, she is probably trying to protect the man who beat her up… it’s sadly how these cases go most times.

      • IMHO January 10, 2020 (3:53 pm)

        Quick to judge … she may be “protecting” the abuser based in fear for safety, for self and/or others. Difficult to say because I neither witnessed the altercation nor am I acquainted with the individuals involved.

  • Quora January 10, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    Never ceases to amaze me how many chances the real scumbags get in this world. Beating up a woman? What a coward. 10 prior felony convictions? I don’t care if they were violent offenses or not; the dude clearly thinks he can play by his own rules and given he’s out and about beating people up, the damn system seems to be supporting that notion. This is pathetic that a dangerous a-hole like this is walking around our community where you and I live, make a living, and try to set good examples for our children. Lock this dude up 10 years MINIMUM.

    • CAM January 10, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      Umm…there’s nothing about the choice of victim that makes the alleged crime any more offensive. Males are frequently victims of domestic violence and it goes unrecognized and underreported due to shame because people think that women are frail and need to be protected. That culture is a problem. Nobody should be assaulted. 

      • Wanda January 10, 2020 (4:38 pm)

        @CAM- keep digging

        • CAM January 10, 2020 (7:22 pm)

          Keep digging for what? Quora’s statement was fairly clear. It is more offensive for a man to assault a woman. Traditionally that belief rests upon the assumption that women are weaker and more physically vulnerable than men and deserve protection. That is, while statistically true on a global level (by a very small margin), a stereotype that does not hold in all circumstances. The continued propagation of that stereotype leads to problems for men and women in our society today and we should all work to avoid it. If that’s something you’re offended by I would recommend that you speak to some people who work with male victims of domestic violence. 

          • Quora January 10, 2020 (7:38 pm)

            Wow, is that what I said? Because I’m pretty sure that’s not what I said. But keep beating your drum and completely pivot the attention away from this outstanding citizen that is beating people up in our community.

      • What? January 10, 2020 (8:23 pm)

        He isn’t trying to make a point about domestic violence. You are focusing on that. He is making a point about a dangerous person being on the street and why they shouldn’t be. 10 felonies, not 1.

  • 1994 January 10, 2020 (8:10 pm)

    James M.Johns – you sound like one GiantAxx loser of a human being. Very surprising you have managed to remain alive after 20 years of dangerous and risky behaviors.

    • WSB January 11, 2020 (12:10 pm)

      Sorry, one of those rare cases in which a pic is available because the defendant has served state prison time, I didn’t get around to pinging the DOC yesterday.

Sorry, comment time is over.