Ex-convict given maximum sentence

WARREN – A judge handed an ex-convict from Cincinnati a maximum sentence of 28 years behind bars for raping a local woman and kidnapping another woman about a year ago.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan called Kevin Johns, who also spent time here, a ”career-type criminal” who had to be put away.

Logan handed down consecutive and maximum sentences, including two three-year firearm specifications for a total of six years. In addition, Johns, 24, got 11 years for rape; eight years for kidnapping; and three years for having weapons under disability.

Johns also was labeled a Tier III sex offender, requiring him to register his whereabouts with authorities every 90 days for the rest of his life when he gets out of prison.

A jury last month found Johns guilty of a lesser version of kidnapping the driver of a car, but not guilty of kidnapping the passenger, who the jury said was raped by the defendant. The jury also found him not guilty of robbing the victims of their cell phones.

He was convicted of weapons under disability since he was a criminal record and served three years in prison for robbery and assaulting a police officer in Hamilton County. His felony convictions prohibited him from possessing firearms.

In her impact statement to the court, the rape victim said, ”I can’t go anywhere without someone knowing I’m the white girl that got the black guy locked up for rape. It runs through my mind every morning, every night I lay down and try to close my eyes, it’s like a tape recorder constantly on rewind.”

The driver of the car called Johns ”pathetic.”

”I wish I didn’t have to wonder if the petty money I chose to shove down my pants instead of giving it to him would have saved (the rape victim) the humiliation and pain she had to endure. I wish I didn’t have to drive a car every day. That is a reminder of the crime scene,” she said.

Assistant county prosecutor Chris Becker said he was pleased with the judge’s sentence. ”It’s clear that Trumbull County common pleas judges are intolerant for repeat violent offenders,” Becker said.

Johns’ attorney, Dan Keating, called the verdict contentious, considering it was a split decision from the incident last April 13. His client, he said, was offered a plea bargain of 20 years and he said another attorney would be handling the appeal for Johns.

It was in prison that Johns met Taemarr Walker, 24, of Warren, and was visiting him when he met both women. Johns said he and Walker went with both women to an Austintown motel and had sex, except Johns couldn’t remember the name of the motel and couldn’t produce any receipts.

It was a way of explaining the DNA match between the defendant and a piece of clothing inside the car that had traces of his semen on it.

Walker was unavailable to serve as a witness in his behalf since he was killed Oct. 19 in a confrontation with a Warren police officer.

The women testified that they were picking up Walker to go shopping with them and Walker told them over the phone to pull to the back of his home. It was there they encountered Johns, who forced them to drive around at gunpoint, according to testimony.

Johns later ordered the driver to stop and get out of the car and remain outside by a fence while he raped the passenger in a driveway at the corner of Kenilworth and Grandview S.E., the women said.

Becker claimed earlier that Walker knew the women had money and he set them up by inviting Johns to rob them.