Charles Johnston, the Doctors Hospital gunman who killed three men on March 27, 2008, pleaded guilty Thursday to the murders and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.
Johnston, 64, remained quiet for most of the 1 1/2 hour proceeding, shaking his head at times as the prosecutor recited the facts about the deaths of Peter David Wright, 44, Leslie A. Harris, 44, and James Baker, 76. Standing in a brown suit while surrounded by deputies, he listened as family members clutched a microphone and spoke about how Johnston’s actions forever changed their lives.
“I don’t hate Mr. Johnston,” said Baker’s widow, who along with other immediately family members sat in the jury box. “I hate what he did, but I can’t live with hatred. I hope that one day he will ask forgiveness from the lord for what he’s done.”
Others felt differently. A nurse who was on duty with Wright moments before he was shot said she started writing a letter to Johnston the day of the shootings. Johnston had told detectives he shot Wright because he believed him responsible for his mother’s death years before, and the nurse said his mother would be ashamed of him.
“You bob your head. You have a smirk on your face. Everyone knows you’re guilty,” the nurse told Johnston. “I don’t have forgiveness in my heart. I hope you get what you deserve in the end.”
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