TAMPA, Fla- — Three days after a grieving son tearfully relived the moment he watched his father die in court, a jury has convicted his killer of first-degree murder.
The guilty verdict was handed down for Dontae Johnson 22, on Friday, June 25.
“A father lost his life, and his son will never be the same. All over a dirt bike. It’s so senseless. No outcome can bring back this young man’s father, but this verdict delivers justice for the victim and puts the man who killed him in prison, which is where he belongs,”- Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren
Court records show that in January 2017, the father and his son listed a dirt bike on Craigslist and got a response to their ad from Tampa. The buyers were Johnson and another man, Ramontrae Williams. The buyers promised to pay more if the bike was delivered from Holiday to Tampa.
Officials say when the 44-year-old victim and his 15-year-old son arrived at the meeting point, Johnson asked to test drive the bike. The victim told them he would need the cash first. When the cash was handed over, the victim noticed it was less than the agreed-upon price of $1,200. The victim handed the money back.
"Johnson pulled out a gun and pointed it at the victim and his son. The victim told his son to run to the truck, and the victim went to get in the truck and leave. Johnson shot the victim multiple times and his son saw him fall to the ground as he was trying to climb into the driver’s seat. Williams sped off on the bike. The victim’s son took the stand to testify during the trial, wiping away tears as he remembered frantically trying to save his father’s life. Williams also testified during the trial about the night of the shooting. Last year, Williams pled guilty to his role in the crime, receiving a sentence of 12 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation."-DOJ
The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before finding Johnson guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery. The judge Samantha Ward will sentence Johnson, he faces life in prison.