Judge threatened by accused felon, investigators say

A man already accused of a violent felony faces more legal problems after investigators say he threatened a Harris County district court judge.

HOUSTON - A man already accused of a violent felony faces more legal problems after investigators say he threatened a Harris County district court judge.

Joshua Johnson is accused of sending more than 100 Facebook messages to Judge George Powell in one night last month. At the time, Johnson was wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

That case was scheduled to go before Judge Powell.

“The messages were very manic,” Powell told KHOU 11 Investigates. “There were pictures, videos, songs, a lot of different things.”

Related: Harris County judge becomes target of death threats

Investigators say one of those messages asked Powell where he lived, and warned, “If you’re (sic) reading this its (sic) too late.”

Powell says he was more concerned with the volume of the messages than he was about any one particular writing. Adding to the worries, the judge says he learned of Johnson’s past.

In court documents, investigators say Johnson “has an extensive history of assaulting and threatening to assault people.”

Johnson was arrested after the threats. Investigators are searching files pulled from his cell phone and a camera he was carrying.

In addition to the assault case, prosecutors added harassment and improper influence cases against Johnson for the messages.

His arrest comes just weeks after the arrest of a woman accused of threatening Harris County Judge Brad Hart in a separate case.

Cases that Powell says highlight the risk of wearing the robe.

“While you may not always feel threatened by something, sometimes you’re just not aware of what people are capable of, and you don’t anticipate the things people might do,” he said.

The judge also says if you’re facing charges, it’s never a good idea to contact the judge directly.

“You never know in terms of how a judge might take your comments,” Powell said. “As threatening, as friendly, you never know in what context. You know, things can be read differently and if it’s read in the wrong context, you could end up in jail.”

A judge has ordered Johnson undergo a mental examination.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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