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Man charged with tampering with victim in felony domestic assault case


An Ozark County man has been charged with two counts of felony tampering with a victim in a felony prosecution, the latest in a string of charges since September that includes a count each of felony charges of failure to register as a sex offender, third-degree domestic assault and resisting arrest for a felony, plus three misdemeanor counts of violation of an order of protection for an adult.

Court records show Daniel E. Johnson, 34, is in custody and a supervised bond release proposal has been sent to the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department. A bond amount is not available in the records, which show a bond order has been issued, and the case is scheduled for review on Feb. 27, with a preliminary hearing set for March 26, both in the courtroom of Associate 44th Circuit Judge Raymond Gross.

The first charge, failure to register as a sex offender, was filed in September and is related to Johnson allegedly failing to list a pickup truck he owns on his sex offender registration form.

In a complaint filing the charge, Ozark County Prosecutor Curtis Pipkins noted that Johnson pleaded guilty in 2010 to second-degree child molestation, and as a requirement of sex offender registry should have reported the pickup truck's registry information within three days of its purchase.

In early December, Johnson was charged with third-degree domestic assault and resisting arrest after allegedly pushing a woman into a closet and punching her, leaving several bruises on her arms, legs and side. During the assault, he reportedly grabbed a steel cup out of the woman's hand and threw it, nearly hitting a child standing nearby and getting liquid on the child's clothing. He allegedly followed the victim as she took the child to a bedroom for a change of clothes, belittled another child and the victim, and began the physical attack on the woman after she stepped in between him and a child he told to leave the house.

After he threatened to kill the woman in front of one of her children if she was still there after 5 p.m., she gathered her children and left the house, according to court documents submitted by Ozark County Sheriff's Lt. Matt Rhoades.

Rhoades said he went to arrest Johnson at his home, but the suspect sped away in his pickup truck. Rhoades initiated a pursuit in his patrol vehicle, with lights activated, and pulled in behind Johnson as he pulled into a relative's property.

The suspect reportedly ran into the house as Rhoades ordered him to come back, and pursued him into the house while making announcements ordering him to come to the deputy. Johnson reportedly closed himself in a bathroom and refused to open the door to Rhoades, who discovered the door was unlocked.

Johnson was then handcuffed and escorted outside and continued to attempt to pull away from the deputy and resist getting into the patrol vehicle, Rhoades said. Johnson reportedly denied the allegations to law enforcement.

Johnson was held without initially held without bail. Court records show he was released on his own recognizance on Dec. 12, nine days after his arrest, on the condition he was fitted with a GPS monitoring device.

On Dec. 10, the victim reported she had been contacted by Johnson through a third party, who sent text messages trying to convince her to drop charges against Johnson. While authorities investigated the incident, the third party allegedly admitted she had been coached by Johnson about what to say "to make sure it didn't sound like it was from him" during phone calls between the two, made the day before the texts were sent to the victim. In filing a report, the victim told law enforcement she suspected Johnson had something to do with it because of the way the texts were worded.

Court records show an adult ex parte order against Johnson was issued on Dec. 4, a day after the alleged assault.

On Jan. 15, Rhoades investigated an incident in which the victim reported seeing Johnson outside the Lick Creek Bullseye as she drove by the store, then saw him getting into his vehicle and leaving the gas station in the same direction she was driving.

Johnson then reportedly passed both her and the vehicle that was directly behind her on a double yellow center line, then braked abruptly for no apparent reason. The victim recorded the incident on her cell phone and showed it to Rhoades, who stated the footage showed it happened as she described it, and a check with Johnson's probation officer showed the suspect's GPS monitor confirmed he was at the location at the time.

On Jan. 20, the victim reportedly saw Johnson following her and her mother on U.S. 160 as the two were on their way to West Plains to sell her truck. She pulled into a gas station in Hardenville to get fuel and wait for law enforcement to arrive, knowing the gas station had surveillance cameras, and Johnson allegedly passed by twice before pulling into a trailer park about 300 feet from the gas station after passing by a third time.

After the deputy arrived at the scene, the victim showed Rhoades cell phone videos that showed Johnson driving past three times. Rhoades then went to the trailer park and saw a woman leaving in Johnson's vehicle who told the deputy Johnson had asked her to put gas in his vehicle, but she didn't know why.

At the scene, Johnson allegedly told Rhoades he was getting gas at that particular gas station because his probation officer informed him he wasn't allowed to buy gas in the state of Arkansas and he was about to travel there for work. Rhoades was later told by the probation officer that Johnson was allowed to buy gas in Arkansas, but the deputy noted in his report that even if that was true, Johnson had enough gas at the time to make a round trip to the location he said he was traveling.

When Rhoades interviewed Johnson about both incidents on Jan. 25, he reportedly contradicted himself about the events, and was again taken into custody without bond.

He is represented by Public Defender D. Colin Young.