Arraignment delayed for man accused in Crust Café shooting

WILLIAMSBURG — An arraignment for a man accused of shooting a security guard during an incident at a Williamsburg restaurant was delayed Tuesday after the man’s defense attorney asked to be able to review all the evidence to determine whether he wants to be tried by judge or jury.

John Lee Johnson, 22, of Newport News is charged with malicious assault and a count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection to an August shooting at Williamsburg’s Crust Café which left a bouncer, Corwin Lindsey, injured and in need of medical care.

Johnson’s arraignment was scheduled Tuesday in James City County Circuit Court, however, his attorney, Patricia Nagel, said she wanted to review all audio and video evidence with him.

"I just want him to know all the evidence," Nagel said. "Certainly he will plead not guilty. He wants to have all the evidence to determine whether to have a jury or bench trial."

Johnson’s arraignment is now scheduled for April 5 at 9 a.m.

He was originally charged with malicious assault, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and two counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling, according to court documents, and also charged with gang participation.

However, after a preliminary hearing in James City County General District Court in January, only the two charges remained.

Nagel said during Tuesday’s hearing that she was unsure she had received all of the evidence, as she was unable to access a pair of the CDs she had received from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. She also said the interviews on her discs were copied in a different order than that of prosecutors.

However, prosecutors have agreed to provide her with working discs that match with theirs.

At the Jan. 12 preliminary hearing, seven men faced charges in connection to the shooting, but charges were dropped against all but two men, including Johnson and Malik Cory Brown, 28, of James City. Brown’s case is scheduled for March 30 hearing in James City County General District Court.

According to witnesses’ testimony at the preliminary hearing, there was a party at the Richmond Road restaurant that night when two groups of men were seen arguing and being aggressive on the patio. Lindsey said he broke up the groups and sent them out of the restaurant in separate directions.

It was when the two groups were outside the restaurant that tension mounted and five shots rang out, according to Lindsey’s testimony.

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