Harness sentenced to 7 years

Judge adds two years to recommendation

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]


SIDNEY — Judge James Stevenson decided a joint recommendation by the prosecution and defense on sentencing was not appropriate on Tuesday in Shelby County Common Pleas Court.

He decided to sentence Johnny L. Harness, 31, to seven years in prison on one count of felonious assault, after it was recommended he serve five years as part of an agreement to enter a guilty plea. The maximum prison term he could have received was eight years.

Harness assaulted a 16-year-old male near the rear parking lot of the post office near the corner of West Avenue and North Street on March 13, 2016.

The juvenile sustained life threatening injuries which resulted in being Care Flighted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Fortunately after extensive medical intervention the male juvenile has made a full recovery.

Following the assault, Harness fled to Texas where he, and his co-defendant Samantha M. Rivera, were apprehended in July.

“This is a shame you’re back here. You’re obviously a well spoken individual,” Stevenson said. “The court must take into consideration your prior record dating back to 15-years-old, all being crimes of violence. It’s also troubling you recognized serious hard and didn’t do anything to rectify the situation – you took off.”

Harness was released from prison in September 2013 after being sentenced to six years for felonious assault, amended from aggravated robbery.

“I know what I did was wrong and my past suggests that’s who I am, but it’s not. I was doing well the past two years. I thought the old Johnny was gone – but it wasn’t,” Harness said before his sentence was handed down.

He apologized to the victim and his family, adding, “I know I deserve what I got coming.”

Harness will also have to pay $4,836.69 in restitution, and complete three years of mandatory probation upon release from prison. He was credited 131 days of confinement for time spent in the Shelby County Jail.

Judge adds two years to recommendation

By Alexandra Newman

[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.

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