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Harvey Johnson was convicted by a jury after 40 minutes of deliberation
February 26, 2008

Press Release For Immediate Release February 26, 2008

(HAMILTON, OH) Harvey Johnson, a 33-year-old Liberty Township man, was convicted as charged by a jury today after 40 minutes of deliberation on counts of Aggravated Robbery (F1) and Escape (F2), and sentenced to the maximum possible prison sentence by the Honorable Judge Andrew Nastoff.

On June 6, 2007, Johnson was incarcerated in the Butler County Jail on a federal probation violation and a suspect in the murder of Kiva Gazaway. During an appearance in the Fairfield Municipal Court to dispose of an outstanding contempt of court charge, Johnson tried to grab the firearm of Bailiff James Cochran in an attempt to escape custody. Johnson's actions were captured by courtroom security cameras and played for the jury.

In sentencing Johnson to a total of 18 years in prison, Judge Nastoff described Johnson's crimes as an "assault on the system of administering justice and the people working within it." In addition to running the ten and eight year sentences consecutive to each other, Judge Nastoff ordered that Johnson's sentence run consecutive to the three year sentence he is currently serving on his federal probation violation.

Prosecutor Piper stated, “We thank the jury for its verdict, which was very important. Judge Nastoff’s comments during sentencing were insightful and appropriate. Even after trying to escape from the Fairfield Municipal Court, Johnson has entertained thoughts of escape from the county jail. Judge Nastoff’s maximum sentence protects us all from a dangerous individual.”

Johnson still faces capital murder and other related charges regarding the death of Kiva Gazaway. That trial is scheduled to begin on April 28.

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For more information contact the Prosecutor's Office at (513) 887-3474
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