Johnson refuses life in prison offer

David R. Johnson
Taking his chances and claiming in open court to know his options, 27 year old David Rama Johnson refused Assistant State Attorney Chris France’ offer that could spare his life if convicted in the capital murder trial pending before the St. Johns County Circuit Court.

Johnson is charged with 2 counts of First Degree Murder with a firearm in the killing of an Anastasia Island mother and her daughter on the night of Sunday, December 10, 2006. At the time of the incident, Johnson was beginning his Christmas break from Flagler College where he was attending classes at night as a student in the Public Administration program. He told other students that he was between jobs during the day.

Apparently he met his younger victim, 28 year old Julia Jasner, while he was employed with St. Johns County. A friendship began and Johnson claimed that for about 2 years, Julia Jasner was his “girlfriend”. When Johnson went to the Jasner residence in the Casa Del Mar Apartments on A1A, police say that he was armed with a .45 caliber pistol and he ended all arguments between him, Julia and her mother, Carol Jasner, with gunfire.

Both Julia and Carol Jasner died in the parking lot at the scene.

As of Monday, Johnson was still being represented by Assistant Public Defenders Jim Valerino and Val Quetti, however, in a February hearing; he announced that he wanted to represent himself.

Johnson was transported to the state hospital in Chattahoochee for a second mental evaluation on the orders of St. Johns Circuit Judge Wendy W. Berger — because she wanted to be certain that doctors believed that Johnson was competent to understand the offers being put before him by the prosecutor. Twice the state hospital found that Johnson had been “restored to competency.”

Johnson’s trial will proceed and is currently scheduled for October, 2008.