Iowa City Man Sentenced in Shooting Death

By Anna Lothson

IOWA CITY – Alajuwon S. Johnson was sentenced Tuesday to serve up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter for killing Kylie Jo Perkins at her Iowa City apartment in December.

Johnson, 26, entered an Alford guilty plea as part of a plea agreement between his attorney Adam Pollack, and Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness. Under the plea, Johnson does not admit to the act and asserts his innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists to convict him of the offense in a trial. Charges of carrying weapons, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, were also dropped as part of the agreement.

During the sentencing hearing family and friends of Perkins wept as Lyness spoke on behalf of them, stating the family said it was too hard to find the words to describe the pain Johnson had caused them.

"Nothing that happens today will bring Kylie back. He will be out in five years and Kylie will still be dead," Lyness recited from the statement. "Our child is gone. We will never see Kylie, or have grandchildren. We are left with only memories."

Pollack spoke on behalf of Johnson and said he wanted to remind the court while the incident was tragic, it was an accident. He added he thinks the punishment fits the crime, and did not object to the maximum five year sentence agreed upon with Lyness.

Judge Marsha Bergan told Johnson there is nothing she could say to give justice to the families and said she hopes he recognizes his mistakes.
"I only hope you dedicate your life to good and be grateful for the short sentence," she said. "I hope you live every day of your life knowing you owe it to the world to be good."

Police said Johnson was visiting Kylie Jo Perkins at her apartment at 1527 Aber Ave. Dec. 30 when the two fought for possession of a gun Johnson was illegally carrying. Perkins was shot in the chest, police said.

Investigators said Johnson admitted he did not contact emergency officials right away, despite Perkins pleading for help, because he had warrants out for his arrest on misdemeanor charges. Johnson eventually asked a friend to call for help and left with his handgun. The caller told police that a robbery had happened at 1227 Aber Ave., which delayed emergency responders.

Johnson also will have to pay $150,000 for restitution to the Perkins' family, pay for funeral costs, and pay a court fee up to $7500, plus attorney fees and court costs.
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