Jameson Johnson Flips Off Federal Court, Will Neither Confirm Nor Deny Criminal Record

Jim Carroll Johnson.jpg
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
One of Jimmy Carroll Johnson's many mugshots...

Since my recent column about well-known Phoenix mitigation specialist "Jameson Johnson," aka, Jimmy Carroll Johnson, and his criminal record for armed robbery, a lot of folks have rushed to Johnson's defense, arguing that his wrongdoing was all in the past, and since he had been doing good deeds locally, we should all look the other way.

However, other than an e-mail to me telling me that the story was "a smear campaign fomented by law enforcement," Johnson's dropped off the grid, even removing his Facebook page altogether, apparently.

Johnson's convictions were made public in an order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake. Wake had initially asked Johnson for an explanation of his record in a sealed letter. This, after Johnson was discovered by U.S. Marshals in the backseat of a car transporting vitamin kingpin Don Lapre, then on the lam after not showing up for a federal court date. 

Wake didn't hear back from Johnson, so he barred Johnson from the case he had been involved with, and posted documents relating to Johnson's convictions in Nevada and Oregon.

On September 7, the court received a letter from Johnson with some attachments. But instead of coming clean to the judge, he flipped him a metaphorical bird. Wake quoted the following from Johnson's letter:

Even if the allegations before the court were accepted as true, it would be obvious that after the alleged criminal sanctions, I have lead the life consistent with the sentencing goals of any court. No hint of criminal activity has been alleged since the early 1990s.

As Your Honor is aware, the Criminal Justice Act contains no criteria whatsoever for selection of non-lawyer appointees. While a recent order has been issued requiring licenses for court appointees, none exists for mitigation specialists in Arizona. Mitigation merely serves to facilitate witness testimony to tell the Court in a coherent fashion. I do not provide opinions or offer testimony. Nothing in the recent order or in the Criminal Justice Act itself precludes a convicted felon from an appointment.

I neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the representations made against me at this time. As I have stated, I am actively seeking witnesses and documentation that may enlighten the court. I have certainly never represented to anyone, that I am a convicted felon. I continue to seek records and witnesses that will fully inform the Court in this matter.

It is my sincere hope that this Court will reconsider its decision...At the very least, the August 22 order should be sealed nunc pro tunc... to prevent prejudice...to all criminal defendants in the Arizona District Court.

So Johnson neither confirms nor denies the "allegations." Thing is, they aren't allegations, unless you buy the tall tale Johnson has told some to the effect that his criminal record was due to the kind of Jason Bourne-type undercover work he'd done for a federal agency back in the day.

That's only one in a long line of whoppers Johnson's apparently told folks. He's depicted himself as an ex-cop to myself and others, and even gone so far as to tell long-winded "cop stories" about his escapades in blue.

Then there's his military record. On his now-deleted Facebook page, Johnson stated that he had served in the U.S. Navy from January 1987 to September 1998. 

But this conflicts with his record in the state penal systems of Nevada and Oregon. In the former, he cooled his heels from May 18, 1993, to August 29, 1996. In the latter, from October 11, 1996 to July 11, 1997. Also, he was on probation 'til July 22, 1999.

I'm still waiting for the U.S. Navy to get back to me on any details regarding Johnson's service. I believe he may have served, but he could not have done so during the period he claimed, as he was in prison during much of that time.

Why didn't Johnson just take ownership of his past? That is not entirely clear. Indeed, as he mentions in his letter to Wake, a felon can do the kind of work he was doing.

Could it be that every lie Johnson told begat another lie, forcing him down a path that he could not extricate himself from, as to do so would mean revealing his true self? 

Or is there something more to Johnson's story that I am as yet unaware of? 

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28 comments
Pantsonfire
Pantsonfire

From his new facebook page, here's what "JJ" (as he now calls himself) says about Occupy Phoenix:

A woman who I respect greatly uses an unusual acronym for a reality check:  FIGJAM; Fuck, I'm Great!  Just Ask Me! While many of the people I respect have been occupied with the Occupy Wall Street Movement, I've sort of hunkered down on my own self-involved sidelines to watch.  I've been impressed with the energy and passion that I've seen, but I've been confused, too.   While Randy Parraz, Chad Snow, Tom Ryan and countless dedicated volunteers fought a bloodless coup in LD 18 to depose de facto Arizona Governor Russell Pearce, other folks have chosen to set up shop in parks and yell at cops who are union employees.  Wouldn't it make more sense to go out to Fountain Hills or Paradise Valley and beat on paint buckets in front of the 6000 square foot homes of the 1%?  Just a thought.  The 7000 or so voters in PV that actually control Arizona don't care if you stay in a park until your pit hair forms dreadlock.  They don't think of the OWS movement at all.  They laugh when the mini-utopias turn into an urban Lord of the Flies situation, with everyone screaming for the conch. Occupying Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland and Zucotti Park in Manhattan are interesting goals, and attract a lot of attention.   What is more important is to occupy the ballot box.  The victory in LD 18 was only possible because of a focused convergence of interests.  The Koch brothers can throw giants checks into bubbling pots of dirty money, but they ultimately cannot mark a single ballot in Arizona.  A real, meaningful direct action is registering a low-efficacy or first time voter, then giving him/her a ride to the polls.  If you really want to go for broke, get an entire family registered on the Permanent Early Voter List, then swing by to help them fill the ballots out over dessert.  Walk with their children to the mailbox, and send those ballots off.  Explain to the children why it is important for them to participate in the democratic process when they reach the age of eligibilty.  That is an effective direct action.  That is literally a voter's insurgency.  Russell Pearce is headed for the unemployment line because activists earnest in their convictions figured out how to show the average denizen of a red district that it was in their best interest to depose the throne.  Ma and Pa Lunchbucket did not vote for Chad Snow's snazzy suits; they voted to oust King Pearce because his values no longer comported with their own.  As the author of SB1070, Pearce is still dangerous.  I have no doubt he will again rear his head where and when he can hurt the people of Arizona the most. Perhaps the message that is better digested than Occupy Whatever is a simple message to elected officials: You Are Next.  Should you choose to ignore the will of the electorate, we will replace you with someone who does.  Stop scaring old people.  Start educating the young.  Provide a responsible safety net for those amongst us who cannot care for themselves.  Focus on jobs.  Stop trying to figure out a devious way around Roe vs. Wade, and stop blaming brown people for all of Arizona's ills.  Trim your own palm trees, while you are at it.  Oh, and Governor Brewer?  We really don't want you to spend $585 million dollars on unneeded private prison beds in the face of falling incarceration.  We would like you to fully fund AHCCCS organ transplants.  We well understand that that Corrections Corporation of America is your single largest donor, and we don't care.  Don't do it.  If you do, we'll punch you in the ballot box too. Fuck, I'm great.  Just ask me.

Lizard
Lizard

Well for what's  it worth, if anybody who cares to treasure the truth, Jameson DID serve in the military and left with some horrific PTSD issues, the likes of which you will never know.  From there, yeah, there was a downward spiral and his world went ugly and he went with it for a while.  The important thing is that he tried, the best way he knew how, to become a man who had something to offer, contribute and give back.  People don't want to hear about or from a guy with a "past"  in a socieity that worships a "hero" as defined by what exactly?  All this mess started because he and Joy responded to a calling to save Lapre's life and turn him over and surrender him.  Well at least they managed that much.  Yesterday Lapre managed to pull off his suicide and killed himself, while in Federal custody.  Say what you want about Jameson Johnson, he tried to save a man's life and did, all while pretty much giving up his own now.  Why don't you write about that Lemons?

rickykevlin
rickykevlin

Only help ease the witnesses told me to illuminate the court is actively looking for witnesses and documents the Court unanimously fashion.

Criminal Lawyers

lizard
lizard

As to those of you who think he should be arrested, for what?  How sure you about stolen valor?  Does the fact of embelishment equal stolen valor if he did in fact serve in the military?  If some of his war stories or even most of them are way above and beyond his actual experiences, but he claims no medals or any other benefits from them, is bullshitting a crime?  If so, make sure your own house is clean.  The way I see it is there's a guy many of us know as Jameson with stories of a colorful past.  Many of his friends who appreciate his efforts to help both animals and human beings in need didn't pay much credence to the stories of the past because we're usually not the type who run in para military circles anyway.  It might just be a "liberal" thing.  From what I've learned is that the stories were most likely meant to cover up some really ugly things that started in play long before even the criminal activity and it was easier to make up a life that didn't inlcude those things.  So what?  He paid the price for his criminal wrongdoings.  He made good afterwards and he worked to earn his keep in the world and help others have the same chance.  What's the problem?

WhiteDevil
WhiteDevil

Maybe we could ask the men and women who've died doing what JJ say he did and see what they think? No, they are dead already and can't receive a second chance...

Mustacha
Mustacha

You are probably to old now to ever learn this but these are fundamental questions that man has asked himself since ancient times. What does integrity matter? What do morals matter? Why doesn't man just act on his instincts like the animals? Why do we think before we act? Why doesn't the stronger man just take whatever he wants? Is it OK to use the threat of violence to obtain what one desires? Is it right to judge other men? Is it right to punish a man who has broken the moral code of the majority? Who decides what is morally right? Should a man be punished if he was raised poorly? How much punishment is sufficient per crime? What if others don't agree with the moral code of the majority?

Jason
Jason

This guy's about as bright as Aubuchon's lawyer in the ethics hearings.

I read that Judge O'Neil nearly held Moriarity in contempt on Monday. Maybe Judge Wake oughta do the same...  

Loverofpeace
Loverofpeace

I've discovered Jameson and Joy are really good people, doing great things. I wish the best for them. Time to move forward and let them get back to work!

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Unfortunately, I'm thinking they'll probably have to work in another town. If so, our loss is someone else's gain, I guess. Sigh. Paz.

Loverofpeace
Loverofpeace

I don't know these people so I can't speculate aboutthem, who knows, but, given an average ex-con and an average attorney I'mthinking average ex-con dude ain't foolin' anybody about his character orintegrity... They just ain't too swift.... I'm thinking on average, the averageattorney plays along, and uses average ex-con like mad, maybe schools him alittle, and then plays dumb leaving him twisting in the wind if something wereto go wrong. I think I saw it on TV... 

 

I'm an average person, andbased on the photo alone I would walk a mile out of my way to avoid potentialcontact with this guy. So, if you told me average citizen "Joy" actually dated him, Iwould immediately suspect that she is retarded. However, if you said citizen "Joy" "is a CJA, or Criminal Justice Act attorney, one on a list of such lawyerswho represent federal defendants, and she has a sterling record as a legalbeagle in Wisconsin and Arizona.", I gotta suspect something is up...

I would encourage JJ to stop protecting who ever schooled him to lie about this stuff and just confess.

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

I'd like to tell you about the facet of JJ that I "met". You see, I do a lot of animal rescue work. So does JJ. . .and so does Joy, who is, by the way, far from "retarded" ("retarded"? Seriously??? What are you, in the 3rd grade? Jesus Christ.)

You know that person who instinctively pulls aside their car and jumps into traffic to rescue an animal? That's the facet of this uber-faceted man that I "met" on FB. He rescues the animals no one wants, including, among others, a blind dog, insulin dependent cat, and a cat named Smoky. That's how our paths crossed.

I volunteer for the pound. One day last December I found Smoky's name listed on their daily euthanasia list (a list that always has >100 animals on it, btw). I pulled out all the stops begging and pleading with people on FB. JJ came forward and immediately left work to bail said kitty out. I should add that "Smoky" wasn't your average cat--he was 17 when his owners disposed of him. After all that, Smoky wound up being FIV+ to boot. However,  JJ & Joy isolated him and vowed to foster him until he was adopted. . .and they did. . .and he was.

As for "walking a mile out of [your] way to avoid potential contact". . .sigh. I'm wondering whether you might not get--how do I say it--a lot of "additional exercise" while walking through certain parts of town. (Actually, Loverofpeace, I have a hunch that you're probably an ok person who just really needs to think of the implications of some of their comments). I do not have the pic. of JJ that Lemons posted, however, I did find one of him smiling and cuddling the 4 lb cat after he'd picked him up from his desperately needed "spa day".

I'm not naive, he's certainly not all about cuddly kittens and sunshine--his actions hurt a number of people. I also find it sad b/c it sounds like his services were highly respected in the legal community. Given that, I have a hunch that some folks would probably still have used his services had he been truthful about his background. Finally, many disenfranchised people will be losing an advocate.

I am befuddled about all of this, but am certain of a couple of things:

1) there's a vivacious 4 lb, 17 year old cat out there who is now running someone's household b/c of JJ's heart for animals;

2) sure, it appears that JJ, uh, has some unusual skeletons in his closet, but I think we'd all be ill-advised to accept a drink (or worse--a kiss) from Lemons.

<anticipates .="" about="" baby="" calling="" comments="" everyone="" killers,="" liberals="" loving="" racist,="" standard="" yadda="" yadda.=""> </anticipates>

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Last lines were converted to html-esque code b/c I used brackets. It should read "anticipating trite comments about liberals calling everyone racists, liberals loving serial killers, yadda yadda."

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

(w/ regards to his owning up to the things that prove to be true and his getting another shot. I also feel bad for those who were hurt by his actions.) I can truly see where I probably come off as a naive person who lives in a happy world filled with fuzzy puppies and kittens, but I'm definitely not naive.

I was just very impressed with the heart I've seen him display. Like I said near the top, I think that a more interesting story would have been to initiate a discussion as to whether a person deserves a second chance and whether someone can overcome their past. However, that might not be in Lemons' DNA.

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Yeah, I'm not going to disagree with you on that, Bokankybreath.

Bokankybreath
Bokankybreath

I am all for JJ getting another shot. But let's be honest, this isn't about a mistake. This is about a long list of crimes. OK? I don't think he should be stoned, but he should be able to live a lie anymore. All we really know, are the things he's be caught red handed doing. So, I suspect there's more. Given that, I wish him luck, but there are probably better people more deserving of a second chance.

Jessica
Jessica

I think the guy should be arrested, do you think so?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Other than criminal impersonation of an apparently not existent persona, what criminal act would have been committed by JJ?

Maybe some fraud violation of one sort or another?

Tax evasion?

What say you, Jessica?

Nugtugs
Nugtugs

Stolen Valor for sure.

Juan Tublowme
Juan Tublowme

I could be wrong, but wouldn't the wise move be to cut your losses, and just own up to it? Continuing to bullshit everyone doesn't seem to be helping.

lizard
lizard

You certainly had no problem drinking his booze, did you?

StephenLem
StephenLem

No I did not ha ha thanks for that

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Amen, lizard.

As for the 2nd (this) article, I get the feeling Lemons was frothing at the mouth with his whole "I-found-the-real-Jason Bourne" fantasy, only to have it not pan out to be as interesting as he'd hoped. So, instead we got a cut-and-paste of JJ's legal filing w/ a bunch of sensationalism about his "flipping [the judge] the metaphorical bird" (seriously? sounded like a preliminary filing to me), a couple mentions of his taking his FB page down, etc.

I don't know JJ--I'm not his friend--I met him briefly once or twice at local events. I did hear a couple of his cop stories, and I'd heard one about his being a paratrooper in Bosnia or something. It's all scary stuff to me, I lead a quiet life. I'm also conflicted.

Maybe a more interesting angle would have been a philosophical look into whether an individual can/cannot/should be allowed to overcome his/her past. This does come across as more of a sensationalistic hit piece and I think is lowering yourself a bit, as I do respect a lot of your work.

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