Marine pleads not guilty to off-base shooting incident

Christopher Michael Johnson, a 26-year-old enlisted Marine, appears in court to plead not guilty Thursday to two felony charges related to an off-base shooting incident.
(KGTV-Channel 10)

VISTA -- An enlisted Marine pleaded not guilty Thursday to two felony charges related to a shooting incident at his off-base apartment.

Cpl. Christopher Michael Johnson, 26, faces charges of negligent discharge of a firearm and shooting in an occupied dwelling.

He is accused of firing four shots in his Vista apartment on Christmas night -- two at his flat-screen TV and two into the walls of the apartment. No one was injured.

Several apartments were evacuated after the shooting. Johnson surrendered without incident after an hours-long standoff with sheriff’s deputies.


Johnson’s attorney, Alex Ozols, told reporters that Johnson has been deployed overseas three times and that his post-traumatic stress disorder will be a defense at trial. Neighbors told reporters that Johnson’s wife recently filed for divorce.

Johnson remains free on $25,000 bail. Superior Court Judge Martin Steven ordered Johnson to abstain from drinking alcohol and to remain on base at Camp Pendleton. He must also wear a tracking device.

Several weapons were seized from the apartment after Johnson was arrested, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Johnson is assigned to provide training for recruits from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego when they are sent to Camp Pendleton in the final weeks of the training regimen.


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