Witness intimidation charged


News Staff Writer

Atmore police have charged a local woman with coercing or trying to coerce several of the witnesses in a pending criminal court case.
Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann reported that police obtained arrest warrants for Mary Johnson, 35, after police detectives “became aware of threats made to multiple witnesses of an ongoing criminal case.”
When informed of the charges against her, Johnson went to the Escambia County Detention Center April 13 and turned herself in, McMann said.
She remained in the county jail late Monday, April 17, held on one count each of intimidating a witness, which is a Class C felony, and menacing, a Class B misdemeanor.
A person commits the crime of intimidating (or coercing) a witness if he or she “attempts, by use of a threat directed to a witness or a person he believes will be called as a witness in any official proceedings, to (a) corruptly influence the testimony of that person; (b) induce that person to avoid legal process summoning him to testify; or (c) induce that person to absent himself or herself from an official proceeding to which he or she has been legally summoned.”
A conviction on such a charge could result in a prison sentence ranging from 366 days (1 year, 1 day) up to 10 years.