Cozad man pleads guilty to two counts in domestic violence case

Dante Johnson 

LEXINGTON — A Cozad man pleaded guilty to two counts in a case in which Cozad Police Officers had to arrest him at Taser point.

Dante Johnson, 27, appeared for arraignment in Dawson County District Court before Judge James Doyle. The state was represented by R. Garrett Goodwin.

Johnson had initially been charged first degree false imprisonment, a Class 3A felony, third degree domestic assault, Class 3A felony and obstructing a peace officer, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The charge for a Class 3 A felony is a maximum of three years imprisonment, 18 months post release supervision and or a $10,000 fine.

The charge for a Class 1 misdemeanor is a maximum of one year in jail and or a fine up to $1,000.

Johnson’s attorney, Corey Burns, stated he would be pleading guilty to the second and third counts, and the false imprisonment charge would be dismissed, per the plea deal with the state.

A separate charge in Dawson County Court, in which Johnson allegedly assaulted another person, was also dismissed.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges of domestic assault and obstructing an officer, he was ordered to appear for sentencing on Jan. 30, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Goodwin presented the charge against Johnson to the court.

The charges are related to an incident on Sept. 28, 2019 when Johnson was reported to have punched a woman in the face and prevented her from leaving a residence.

According to the documents Johnson had shown up at woman’s workplace the day before, asking for a ride to their residence in Cozad.

At the residence, Dante allegedly took the woman’s car keys and punched her in the face; inside the house he took away her cellphone. Court documents state that when she attempted to leave, “he would hold her back by her hair.”

The woman waited for Dante to go to sleep before fleeing the home and trying to find help. Court documents state she had a cut on her upper lip and inside her lip.

Around 10 p.m. two Cozad police officers arrived to arrest Dante. When they arrived he was standing outside the home. Upon seeing the police arrive, he ran inside the house and locked the door, despite the officers order to stop.

The officers then kicked in the front door and ordered Dante to the ground and placed his hands behind his back at Taser point.

Dante went to the ground but refused to move his hands, an officer had to physically move his hands behind his back. At the patrol car Dante refused to get in and had to be forced by the officers. At the police department he refused to get out of the car and had to be forced again by the officers, according to court documents.

According to Goodwin, Johnson has a previous assault charge which dates back to Aug. 30, 2016.

Judge Doyle reduced the bail for Johnson, which had been set at 10 percent of $100,000, to $50,000. He must pay 10 percent of this to be released. All other conditions of the bond were continued. Johnson remains lodged in the Dawson County Jail.

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