Man gets 8 months for downtown April assault

A Juneau man was sentenced to serve eight months in prison in connection to a fight outside the Juneau Police Department downtown substation earlier this summer.

The April 28 incident, which several people at Merchant’s Wharf witnessed, left one man unconscious on the sidewalk, police said at the time. He was taken to the hospital for his injuries to his head, prosecutors said. Alcohol was involved, they said.

Judge Louis Menendez imposed 36 months with 28 months suspended Thursday in Juneau Superior Court for 28-year-old Brandon W.L. Johnson.

The sentence also requires three years of probation after his release and restitution in an amount to be determined later.

Johnson was indicted by a Juneau grand jury in May on two felony counts of first-degree assault and one felony count of second-degree assault.

He pleaded guilty last month to a reduced charge of third-degree assault, which prosecutors said was an appropriate level of charge given the conduct in the case. That’s a class ‘C’ felony punishable by up to five years in prison, with a presumptive zero to two years sentence for someone without prior felony convictions.

Johnson’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Eric Hedland, told the judge his client doesn’t have any prior felonies and has a strong support system in the community as well as a family to help him with alcohol issues. He noted several people submitted letters on Johnson’s behalf.

The attack couldn’t be justified, Hedland said, but it wasn’t random. The two men knew each other and have had problems in the past, Hedland said.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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