Zacharia Johnson Sentenced To Life In Prison For Attempted First Degree Murder
A Casper man has been given his sentence for trying to kill another person.
Twenty-seven year old Zacharia Johnson was sentenced to life in prison, after a jury found him guilty of attempted first degree murder, aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and aggravated assault and battery.
Prosecutors say in March 2013, Johnson along with his accomplice 31-year old Robert Simmons, entered the apartment of 61-year old Robert Masterson and stabbed him multiple times.
A medical examiner testified that the injuries that Masterson sustained to his chest and throat were life-threatening.
The cell-mate said Johnson told him, that he believed Masterson was a child molester, and that killing him might get him into good standing with Hell’s Angels.
However, there is nothing on Masterson’s record that proves those accusations.
Masterson’s neighbor testified that during the night of the stabbing, Johnson and Simmons, first visited her place, then all three went to Masterson’s apartment under the impression that a drug deal was going on, but that was not the case.
She knocked on Masterson’s door, while Johnson and Simmons stood next to her.
When Masterson looked through his peep-hole, he only saw his neighbor and invited her in.
It was then that Johnson and Simmons forced their way past her, entered Masterson’s apartment and attacked.
Simmons pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the crime and has already been sentenced.
Johnson filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the reason Simmons did not testify at Johnson’s trial, was because he claimed the prosecution interfered with what was going to be Simmons’ testimony.
Simmons’ reasons for pleading the fifth, were that he did not want to face false swearing or perjury charges, because he is already facing a similar charge in an unrelated case.
A judge denied the new trial, saying the defense released Simmons from his subpoena to testify, after he pleaded the fifth.
Before sentencing, Johnson said he plans to appeal.
His actual sentence was life in prison for attempted first degree and eight-to-10 years for each of the other three charges.
All sentences will be served concurrently, or at the same time.