Convicted murderer gets 30 days for violating probation

February 7, 2024
Northampton Courthouse

By Linda Cicoira

     A 34-year-old man who was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, and burglary in the 2006 death of a Fairview man was ordered Thursday in Northampton Circuit Court to serve a total of 30 days in jail for violating his probation.

     Jameson Demetris Johnson, also of the Fairview area, was 17 years old when 72-year-old Lawrence Allen Massie was shot to death at his home. Johnson was with at least two other older teenagers when the crime was committed. Johnson was initially charged with capital murder, which was reduced to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 20 years each for the three offenses to run concurrently with 13 years suspended.

     At a revocation hearing Thursday, Johnson told Judge William R. Savage III that he served seven years in prison. Court records show he was put on probation for 20 years. 

     In 2022, Johnson was convicted in Northampton General District Court of assault and battery. He admitted to going into a local store to confront a man who he believed slashed his tires. He was sentenced to 90 days with all but 82 days suspended for that crime. 

     Judge Savage sentenced him to 30 days for violating probation by committing the 2022 offense. Johnson will likely spend that time at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail. He was escorted out of the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies.

     Massie died from multiple gunshot wounds to the arm and torso. In November 2006, the victim was found dead in the bedroom of his home after a neighbor heard gunshots and went to his aid. “In addition to the gunshot wounds, there were scattered superficial abrasions and contusions and freshly broken” teeth, the court record showed.

     Johnson said around the time his tires were slashed, his daughter was sick, and he was distraught because without the car he would not be able to take her to the doctor. The daughter later died. 

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     Judge Savage said although Johnson’s lawyer, Garrett Dunham, made a good argument to keep Johnson out of jail, he had to take action. 

     Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton acknowledged that this was Johnson’s first violation. However, he said it was a violent one “in a public building.” 

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February 23, 2024, 7:55 am
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