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15-year-old sentence for attempted murder of undercover cop in upstate New York

October 5, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
15-year-old sentence for attempted murder of undercover cop in upstate New York Nahquaz Johnson, of Caton Drive, was sentenced to the maximum penalty under law for a 15-year-old convicted of attempted murder.

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A 15-year-old teen from Syracuse, New York was sentenced to 3 1/3 to 10 years behind bars for the attempted murder of an undercover Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy back in January.

Nahquaz Johnson was given the maximum penalty under law for a 15-year-old found guilty of attempted murder.

Johnson’s case was managed in adult court due to the severity of the offense, but the law required a shorter prison stunt due to his age. If he were one year older, Johnson would have faced up to 25 years.

The teen will be sent to a state Office of Children and Family Services facility until he’s considered an adult, then will be transferred to a state penitentiary, Syracuse.com reported.

County Court Judge Matthew Doran denied a request to have Johnson’s case sealed. Assigned attorney Louis Mannara had contended that Johnson exhibited remorse, had been doing well with schoolwork while in custody and was raised in a difficult, single parent childhood.

Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Jeremy Young, who was managing an undercover drug operation, remembered the attempted murder in court.

Young was watching out for the safety of other officers at Springfield Garden Apartments in DeWitt when he saw Johnson sneaking up to his vehicle.

Nahquaz Johnson was sentenced to the maximum penalty under law for a 15-year-old convicted of attempted murder.

Inches away from his face, Johnson shot multiple rounds. Young remembered seeing the spark from the gunfire and the vehicle’s window breaking.

The low-caliber bullets did not hit Young, and he was able to get away uninjured. Today, Young said that the blast led him to have an irreparable hearing loss that will necessitate hearing aids. He also hit several objects with his car while trying to flee.

But more importantly, Young said the incident cost him and his family to lose peace of mind. The deputy said he was fine with that because he signed up to be an officer. His family, however, was still suffering.

Young referred to it as “the most vile attempt to murder another human” he’d ever seen, and a “cowardly ambush.”

For his part, Johnson said sorry in a letter, parts of which were read by his attorney in court.

Johnson noted that he wished he’d listened to his thoughts and stayed home that night.

“I must make better choices,” Johnson said. “If I could go back to that day, I would never have done what I did.”

A report by a non-profit investigated Johnson’s upbringing, among other factors, on his behalf.

Mannara noted that Johnson had chosen to plead guilty before draining all of his pre-trial hearings.

However, Doran, the judge, said that no one could redo the damage that had been done. Despite Johnson’s lack of criminal record, his remorse and his attempts at rehab in jail, the crime was still too horrific to justify a sealed record.

“The word ‘senseless’ gets used, but the word ‘intentional’ also comes to mind,” the judge stated.

Over a dozen officers filled several rows of the courtroom gallery for the teen’s sentencing.

A co-defendant, 16-year-old Isaiah Outley, is still facing a charge of attempted murder for the incident. That case is pending.

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