Cleamon "Big Evil" Johnson, whose guilty conviction for a 1991 double homicide was overturned by the California Supreme Court in 2011 and who is scheduled to be retried for those crimes later this year, has been charged with three additional single murders.
Johnson, 46, who was convicted - with another man - of the two killings in 1997 and served more than 13 years on San Quentin's death row before winning the appeal, casually told a visitor at the Men's Central Jail that three more murders were being added to his upcoming trial. A preliminary hearing* is set for July 28.
One of his lawyers, Victor Salerno, confirmed the additional charges, but declined further comment.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office alleges Georgia Denise "Nece" Jones, Albert Sutton and Tyrone Mosley were all killed or ordered killed by Johnson, a member of the 89 Family Bloods. While Johnson was in Ironwood State Prison, Nece Jones was shot and killed June 12, 1994 at 87th Place and Wadsworth Avenue in the 89 Family neighborhood. Sutton was also killed in that neighborhood. Mosley was shot and killed in September 15, 1991 on 97th Street and McKinley Avenue, a 97 East Coast Crip neighborhood.
"It's just more bullshit to keep me locked up, keep a trial going," said Johnson who is back in the regular high power section of the jail, after nearly a year in a special segregated cell. "They think when if I get out, I'm going to go on so,me rampage. And the police tell people that. I am not the same person I was when I went in here. Man, I just want to be free."
Johnson and co-defendant Michael "Fat Rat" Allen were convicted in 1997 of the August 5, 1991 killings of Donald Ray Loggins and Payton Beroit at a car wash on 88th Street and Central Avenue. Prosecutors contended that Johnson ordered Allen to kill the two men who were from the "other side" (east) of Central Avenue.
In a 1998 Los Angeles Times Magazine article, Johnson, then 30 - and considerably different in attitude and character - seemed unconcerned that he was headed for death row. "I'm not worried at all about going to San Quentin," he said. "I been in worse places."
"In an alley, with a .45 pointed at me. Too many times. But I'm a survivor. I just turned 30. I never thought I'd make it to 20. After I got the death penalty, I celebrated in jail with some homemade brew. I know I'm gonna be around at least 10 more years with all the appeals."
That article ended with a memorable quote by Big Evil; "Getting the death penalty saved my life."
If these charges don't result in conviction, Johnson's new kicker might be "Getting those extra murder charges saved my life."
1998 L.A. Times Article - http://krikorianwrites.com/blog/2014/6/8/1998-la-times-magazine-article-big-evils-ride-to-death-row
1997 L.A. Times Article - http://krikorianwrites.com/blog/2014/6/8/1997-la-times-article-big-evils-reign-appears-over-for-good
* A preliminary hearing is described as a "trial before the trial" at which the judge decides, not whether the defendant is "guilty" or "not guilty," but whether there is enough evidence to force the defendant to stand trial -from www.criminal.findlaw.com