Former Mexia school employee accused of punching, breaking disabled student’s nose found not guilty
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A former Mexia State School employee charged with punching a disabled school resident and breaking his nose was found not guilty Tuesday.
Jurors in Waco’s 19th State District Court deliberated about 30 minutes before acquitting Randy Omar Johnson, 38, of Waco, on an assault against a disabled person charge, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Johnson, who worked at the Limestone County facility for about a year, did not testify during the two-day trial. However, he denied striking the 56-year-old disabled man and breaking his nose to facility administrators and law enforcement investigators.
The man, who is no longer a resident of the Mexia State School, an in-patient facility for special needs individuals, testified that Johnson punched him in the nose during a school field trip to Waco in February 2018 to see the movie “Thor.”
His testimony proved inconsistent when describing where the alleged assault occurred, however. He described the assault during different portions of his testimony as occurring after the movie on the van, in the movie theater parking lot and while he was climbing onto the van.
The resident did have a broken nose, but he didn’t report it until the next morning after he returned to the school.
Six staff members and about a dozen residents went to the movie. However, none reported seeing Johnson strike the man, none heard him complain that night about having a broken nose and none saw any blood or other evidence of an assault.
Attorney Josh Tetens, who represented Johnson with co-counsel Michel Simer, said his client was “baffled and shocked” at the allegations and has always denied he assaulted the man.
“We are very excited that this case has finally been resolved after almost five years,” said Tetens, who will become McLennan County district attorney in January. “And we are very pleased that the jury took time to review and listen to all of the very clear evidence that proved Mr. Johnson was not guilty.”
Johnson was free on bond while waiting for his case to be resolved.
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