Saturday, March 26, 2016

PTSD On Trial: Four Tour Veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq

Logan County Jurors Hear Witness Testimony Regarding Shooting Of Lora Karras
Times Record
By Pat McHughes
Paris Express
March 26, 2016

The jury heard testimony Friday that when Lora Karras, 40, was shot three times and killed in March 2014 at her home near Scranton she may not have been the intended victim.

The jury heard that information when a taped interview between a Logan County Sheriff’s Office investigator and the man accused of her murder was played in court. On the tape, the accused, Josh Johnson, 40, of New Blaine, described an argument he’d had with Jennifer Johnson, who was then his wife, which led to her taking their two children and leaving their home. During the interview, conducted the night of March 19, 2014, a few hours after Karras was killed, Johnson told then-investigator Ray Gack what happened next.

“I loaded my gun,” Johnson told Gack. “I got in my truck and drove down there. I was hoping to get Robert.”

Robert Karras is the husband of the deceased. However, he wasn’t home. After Johnson arrived at the Karras home on Rodeo Arena Road, according to testimony presented Friday, he shot Lora Karras three times with a shot gun.

Johnson has been charged with first-degree murder and his trial opened Thursday in 15th Judicial District Circuit Court in Paris. Johnson has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease. His lawyers — public defenders John Irwin of Morrilton and Aubrey Barr of Fort Smith — contend that Johnson suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought about by four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Johnson served in the Marines.
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