McJohnson turns himself in

Published 1:26 am Saturday, July 14, 2007

NATCHEZ — The driver in a wreck that killed three area youth on the Fourth of July was arrested on charges of aggravated assault Friday.

Michael Cody McJohnson, 21, 149 Eagle Road, Vidalia, turned himself in, Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

McJohnson was released on $40,000 bond.

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McJohnson also had two bench warrant arrests for prior charges, Mullins said.

He was wanted on a bench warrant for contempt of court related to a driving under the influence, first offense, for which he was arrested in January, Mullins said. McJohnson was fined for that offense but had not paid, Mullins said.

McJohnson had also a bench warrant related to a simple assault charge, for which he was sentenced in January, Mullins said. The judge waived jail time but sentenced him to pay a fine. That fine hadn’t been paid, Mullins said.

McJohnson paid the total fine of $1,244 before he was released Friday, Mullins said.

The recent aggravated assault charge stems from a fight in a bar parking lot in which McJohnson was allegedly involved.

Three men reportedly were taken to the hospital after the incident and had to have staples put in their heads.

The truck McJohnson was driving reportedly sped off, eventually driving into a ravine and killing the three passengers.

McJohnson was severely injured, his mother said soon after the accident. He had a fractured neck and broken ribs, among other injuries.

The investigation is ongoing, and further charges might be leveled pending blood alcohol test results, Mullins said. Preliminary test results showed McJohnson’s blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.