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October 21, 2018
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17-year-old sentenced to prison

By Caitlan Butler
This article was published September 23, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

A 17-year-old was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections Tuesday in the Fourth Division of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Union County.

Tyrenciay Johnson was sentenced to five years ADC and five years suspended imposition of sentence after a plea agreement. Johnson was facing charges of aggravated assault, possession of a handgun on school property, battery in the third degree and terroristic threatening in the first degree.

According to the police report, Johnson and two other juveniles cornered and threatened another juvenile at Junction City High School in early April during a game of basketball. The basketball court is a joint-ownership court located on Junction City School District grounds. The court is open for public use, said JCSD Superintendent Robby Lowe. The incident occurred outside of school hours, around 6 p.m., Lowe said.

Lowe said while they were playing basketball, a spring rainstorm rolled through, causing the victim to run underneath a nearby awning on the high school campus. According to the police report, Johnson had put his cell phone in the victim’s backpack earlier, telling him to hold on to the phone for safekeeping as he played basketball. When the victim sought shelter from the rainstorm, Johnson and the other juveniles followed him and accused him of trying to steal his phone.

Johnson then pulled out a gun and held it to the victim’s head while another juvenile filmed the incident.

According to the police report, Johnson threatened, mocked and hit the student before the student could eventually escape. Lowe said one of the victim’s parents reported the incident to the school the next day, at which point they checked the security footage and immediately notified Junction City Police. Johnson was taken into custody the following day on April 5. At that time, he was extradited to Columbia County on a separate charge.

Although, Johnson was not a student in the JCSD, the victim and two other juvenile suspects were. Lowe said they were both subject to disciplinary action. Since then, Lowe said several new security features have been implemented, including new cameras on the basketball court, regular patrols by the JCPD and a school resource officer. The JCSD also met with members of the Arkansas School Safety Commission earlier in the month to discuss school safety practices.

Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or cbutler@eldoradonews.com.

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