Beating Put On YouTube Results In Man’s Arrest
A New Martinsville man has been charged with malicious wounding after brutally beating another.
Johnathan Lee Johnson, 20, of 315 6th Street, was arrested Monday and charged with the offense after a video recording of the attack was posted on YouTube. Johnson remains in the Northern Regional Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond.
According to New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil, Johnson, the victim, and others had gathered behind New Martinsville School on Sunday for a football game wherein at some point Johnson began beating Josh Scarborough, 19, of New Martinsville. No one knows for certain what the motive for the attack was, however Cecil said his department is aware of rumors of possible motives.
Scarborough was taken to Wetzel County Hospital and was released the same evening of the incident.
NMPD Patrolman Friend Estep initiated the investigation, finding the link to the YouTube video from Johnson’s Facebook page. Additionally, Johnson openly boasted on his Facebook page of his conquest. Police first went to Johnson’s residence on 6th Street where he was not found, however Johnson was apprehended shortly thereafter in the Lockhaven Trailer Court in New Martinsville.
Notably, authorities were able to make the arrest just two hours and 42 minutes from the time they began their investigation.
While others were present at the time of the incident, Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated that as of now there doesn’t appear they were active participants in the crime. Haught explained that in West Virginia there is no duty to render aid and as such unless there’s evidence of conspiracy, there is nothing with which to charge them.
“Mere presence at a crime does not make you an actor or an accessory to that crime,” he said as he stressed that any of the others present would have to be made a principal or accessory to the beating before charges can be made. Haught resolved however that the investigation is not complete. “If they can be charged, they will be charged.”