Charles Johnston, accused of fatally shooting three people in March 2008 at Doctors Hospital, is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday afternoon.
Johnston, 64, is the second name on the 10 a.m. guilty plea docket for Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Doug Pullen, though he won’t stand before the judge until 1:30 p.m., Columbus Public Defender Bob Wadkins said.
Johnston’s decision, which isn’t final, came around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wadkins said. Johnston spoke with his defense team around 2 p.m. and told them he’d make his decision later that day. More than two hours later, one of Wadkins’ investigators went to the jail.
“And that’s when he said he intended to enter a plea,” Wadkins said.
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Johnston faces charges that include murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He’s accused in the March 27, 2008, shooting deaths of Peter David Wright, 44; Leslie A. Harris, 44, and James Baker, 76.
Prosecutors offered a plea deal to Johnston in January to three consecutive life sentences, Wadkins said. He said the negotiated sentence would be close to that.
The defense attorney declined to say whether any charges would be dropped in the plea deal.
On Monday, Wadkins said he intended to file a motion asking for a change of venue in Johnston’s case. Wadkins said Wednesday he wouldn’t file the motion on behalf of his client.