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Monday, June 11, 2012

Man Found Not Guilty of Robbing USF Student at Gunpoint

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

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A man facing a potential 17 years in prison for robbing a University of San Francisco student at gunpoint back in 2010 was found not guilty of all charges.

Joshua Johnson, 20, was acquitted of all three counts against him -- one count of robbery with a firearm, and two counts of assault with a firearm -- according to his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Doug Walsh.

"This was an outrageous case because police failed to follow up on numerous leads," Welch said. "Because of that lack of follow-up, a young man with no connection to the robbery was arrested and put on trial." 

The robbery took place in May 2010, when two teenagers, one armed with a handgun, confronted a USF student and stole his iPod, phone and backpack. The two men then fled the scene in a vehicle driven by a female accomplice. 

Witnesses provided police with the model and make of the car, a Mitsubishi Outlander, and a license plate number. Police tracked down the car and interviewed the driver, but made no arrests. Eight days later police arrested Johnson, who they believed to be an associate of the female driver, and charged him with the crime. 

The jury was not convinced by the prosecution's story and instead opted for the evidence and witness testimony, most of which said that Johnson was not in the city when the robbery took place. 

An engineer from AT&T, using cell tower information, testified Johnson was using his phone in Vacaville at the time of the robberies. 

"The jury was extremely conscientious," Welch said. "After the trial, they told me there were simply too many holes in the prosecution's claims."

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said he was surprised that the case even went into trial. 

"There was no evidence to tie Mr. Johnson to this crime. On the other hand, there was copious evidence that he was in Vacaville the day of the robbery," Adachi said. 

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