Johnson Sentenced to Three Life Terms

- An 89th District Court jury recommended that a man convicted of molesting three girls in Wichita County receive the maximum punishment.

Fifty-six year-old Kurley Johnson was convicted of a felony bail jumping charge in Wisconsin in 2004, so his punishment was enhanced.

That conviction enhanced Johnson's minimum punishment to 5 to 99 years or life in prison on each of the three counts of indecency with a child by contact on which he was convicted.

Jurors recommended Johnson be sentenced to life in prison on each count.

It took about 30 minutes for them to make their punishment recommendation.

Then Judge Mark Price stacked those sentences, meaning Johnson will serve those sentences back-to back-to back.

Johnson was convicted of touching three girls over their clothing between their legs.

Those incidents happened on Chrismas Eve 20-11 when the girls were between the ages of six and nine.

Prosecutors say the defendant violated the girls' innocence at a time of year that should have been exciting for them.

They say the stiff sentence handed down to Johnson fits the crime and shows how Wichita County residents view crimes against children.

Assistant District Attorney Starla Jones says, "They're just not going to tolerate it. I mean, these are horrendous crimes and nobody wants to see this sort of thing happen, and the citizens of our county just won't stand for it."

Defense attorneys, who declined to comments after today's proceedings, asked the jury to give their client a lighter sentence because he had not before been convicted of a sexual offense.

Johnson has a previous charge of robbery as a juvenile, and charges of battery, obstructing an office, disorderly conduct, possession of a controlled substance, and threatening an officer in his adult life.

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