Trial begins for Lufkin man accused of kicking down door, sexually assaulting acquaintance

Garland Johnson (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Garland Johnson (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Warning: This story contains some graphic sexual content.

A jury of four women and 10 men filed into Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District courtroom Monday morning to hear the case of Garland Johnson, 39, of Lufkin.

Lufkin Police arrested Johnson in May 2013 for sexual assault and burglary after he allegedly kicked down the apartment door in the 2300 block of North Raguet Street and sexually assaulted a female acquaintance.

Johnson has pleaded not guilty to all charges listed in the indictment read by District Attorney Art Bauereiss.

During his opening arguments Bauereiss told the jury that Johnson and his alleged victim both lived in the same converted apartment complex and were allegedly acquaintances. On the morning of the offense, Johnson went to the woman's apartment one time and made it clear that he wished to have sex. The woman sent him away, but Johnson came back again a second time. He was rebuffed again, Bauereiss said.

The prosecutor then said around 5 a.m. the morning of May 26th Johnson broke into the alleged victim's apartment. He removed his clothes, removed her clothes, got on top of her in the bed, and slammed her slammed her head into a brick wall, Bauereiss said. Then Johnson allegedly moved the two of them from the bed to the floor where he scratched her.

The state continued the opening statement in saying that the woman resisted Johnson. She ended up with bite marks on her back. Bauereiss said Johnson did not achieve penetration but did make sexual contact. Jane Doe yelled out, "Help, rape!"

A Good Samaritan heard that cry for help, and he saw Johnson with his pants down, the prosecutor said. The witness ran and called 911. In the meantime, the woman was able to elbow Johnson and escape to safety until the police arrived.

Bauereiss said Lufkin Police officers found Johnson in the woman's apartment. He was allegedly on his back and masturbating. At first, Johnson didn't comply with the orders being yelled at him, and the officers took out their Tasers. However, the LPD officers didn't have to use their Tasers, and Johnson was arrested without further incident.

The alleged victim was taken to Harold's House where swabs taken from her bite marks. Blood samples and a pair of torn underwear were also collected, Bauereiss.

Bauereiss said the defendant made up a story saying that this was a drug for sex transaction and denied ever touching the woman. He added Johnson said they did get naked.

Defense attorney Rudy Velasquez said this is an interesting case because both sides have their own version of the story.

Velasquez told the jury that the evidence is going to show that a couple of days before the incident, Johnson and Doe got together, had a conversation, and wanted to get high. He alleged that Johnson gave Doe $30.

Velasquez said the woman came to Johnson's residence and propositioned him to go get some marijuana. They got into a vehicle, and the alleged victim drove them to Brookshire Brother's, where Johnson put $10 in gas in the car and purchased some cigarillos, the defense attorney said. Then they drove down the road and purchased some weed and crack cocaine.

Velasquez said that the woman was getting the drugs ready to use, and Johnson went to his apartment. Johnson got a knife and a light and they started smoking, the defense attorney. The defense said there was something unusual about the narcotics and it knocked Johnson out. Then Johnson was found naked and masturbating on the floor.

By the end of the night Johnson had no money at all and that he kept asking the police where his money was, Velasquez said.

Velasquez also told the jury there is a patrol car video of Jane Doe where she's texting and makes a phone call. The defense attorney said in the video the woman says she's been sexually assaulted and alleged that the alleged victim said Johnson was smoking bath salt.

Then the defense alleged that Doe told someone, "I knocked him out for his money."

The state called the first witness, the Good Samaritan who called police on the night in question, Rokasky Maxy of Kennard.

Maxy said he knew the defendant as "Big Country." Maxy said he woke up because he heard someone screaming, "Help. Rape!"

Then he ran out of his room and ran to the alleged victim's room. He said the door was wide open, said he was standing in the dark. The defendant's pants were halfway down, Maxy said. The witness said he didn't go into the room but instead ran to the phone to call 911. Maxy told the jury he wasn't in a condition to assist the victim because he had a heart condition.

While on the phone with the 911 operator, Maxy said he saw the alleged victim run down the hall in a muscle shirt and boxers. She was crying, he said. The woman stayed with Maxy until the police arrived

At that point, the state passed the witness to the defense.

Velasquez asked the witness if he heard any pounding or hearing any doors getting knocked off their hinges. The witness said he didn't hear that. The witness said he never went into the room but saw a butt on the floor but couldn't see what the man was doing. The defense asked the witness if he smelled anything unusual, and the witness said he didn't.

The defense asked Maxy how long it was before he saw the alleged victim come out of the apartment and the witness said about 10 minutes. The defense asked the witness if he could tell if the person on the floor was naked, the witness said no. Then asked if he could tell if the person on the floor was masturbating and the witness said no.

The state then called Norma Sanford of Harold's House as the SANE program director to the witness stand. Sanford conducts all the sexual assault exams that come through the agency.

Sanford said the woman told her, "Country was beatin' on my door. He kicked my door in." She also said that the alleged victim made sexual contact with her, but there was no penetration. The woman also told the SANE nurse that she was "screamin' and calling for help."

Sanford said during the examination she found and documented numerous purplish bite marks on the alleged victim's body. One was on healing bite mark on her right breast. The victim told Sanford that one was from a fight. There was another bite mark near her pubic area, one near her hipline, a scratch mark near her breast, and two bite marks near her shoulders.

The state showed the jury the drawing Sanford made during her examination of the locations of the marks on the victim's body.

The State submitted a slew of photographs taken by Sanford during her exam and showed those photographs to the jury. Sanford described the marks in each of the pictures to the jury and detailed which marks she believes to be bite marks and the ones she believes to be scratches, based on her experience and expertise.

Sanford said the victim was cooperative and calm during her interview and exam. Bauereiss asked if she thought the victim appeared intoxicated or high and Sanford said no.

Bauereiss then opened a sealed box and gave it to Sanford to identify it. She identified it as the SANE kit from the victim in this case, and then the state admitted the kit and its contents into evidence.

The defense questioned Sanford and presented a diagram of female anatomy Sanford if there was any trauma and Sanford said there was zero trauma noted near the alleged victim's genital area.

Then the defense presented a picture of the victim to the jury and to Sanford and asked Sanford if there was any trauma to the face or forehead and Sanford said no. The defense asked if there would be trauma if the victim had her face slammed into a brick wall and Sanford said, "There is not trauma there."

Sanford confirmed the alleged victim did not mention her head ever being slammed into a brick wall.

The defense presented more pictures of the woman's injuries and questioned Sanford about each one asking if it was healing or if it appeared to be new. Velasquez asked Sanford how the victim got the bite marks on her shoulder and she said the victim told her she was rolling around in an attempt to get away and that's how she got the bite marks on her shoulder.

"The bottom line from all these pictures is that there was no penetration, and the victim even said there was no penetration" Velasquez said, and Sanford confirmed his statement.

After the court recessed for lunch, the 19-year-old victim took the stand as a witness for the prosecution. The alleged victim details that she hadn't lived in the apartment on Raguet Street that long before the incident took place.

The woman said she only knew her alleged assailant by the nickname "Country."

The alleged victim says on the night she was attacked she had a female friend over for most of the day. Then, after her friend left, she was talking on the phone, and she smoked K2.

The alleged victim said she fell asleep before midnight on May 26, 2013, but she had seen the defendant prior to going to sleep when her friend "White Boy" came over to use the phone. The woman said Johnson came back to her apartment again, saying he was trying to hide out because he had skipped rent. Then Johnson left, she said.

The victim said Johnson came back a third time that morning and banged on the door, saying, "Let me in, Let me in." Then he kicked in the door and started coming at her, taking off his clothes while she was on her bed.

"I was in such shock that it was happening," the alleged victim said. "He was biting me and scratching me and slamming my head into the wall. And every time he would try to penetrate, I would flip. He was trying to get me to stop fighting."

The alleged victim said Johnson was trying to have oral sex with her by the time they wound up on the floor. During her testimony, the woman said that she was screaming for help.

"He got tired of me fighting back and grabbed hold of my legs and pulled me onto the concrete floor," the alleged victim said. "I was fighting back."

The woman told the jury that Johnson bit her on the shoulder where she flipped over, near her belt line, her wrist, and on her "female part."

"He looked very scary. His eyes were rolling back in his head," the victim said. "And he did this like really deep breath in, and then he just melted."

The woman told the jury that even though Johnson made sexual contact, he never achieved penetration.

The prosecution asked how the victim felt when all this was happening and she said, "I was scared for my life because no one was coming."

Bauereiss asked the victim, "Did you consent to his touching you?"

"Never. No," said the victim. "Everyone in the complex knew that I was married."

Later, the alleged victim claimed the condom allegedly found in her room was not from any sexual encounter she had.

Velasquez asked the victim if she's trying to hide something by referring to all her "friends" as her "witnesses."

The alleged victim said she never got in the car with the defendant, never went to Brookshire Brother's and put gas in the car, and never went to buy marijuana or crack cocaine.

"You deny ever going to buy any drugs?" Velasquez asked.

The alleged victim replied, "Never happened."

During her exchange with Velasquez, the victim seemed to be visibly irritated when she was answering his questions.

"This is a very serious matter ma'am and you seem to think it's some kind of joke," Velasquez said. "This is a man's life."

The defense asked the victim to look at the different evidence photos and identify her injuries and say whether or not they were fresh injuries or old injuries from a previous fight. Velasquez said there was no penetration or DNA found in the woman's genitalia. To that, the alleged victim replied Johnson's DNA was all over her body.

Velasquez asked the victim if she gave Johnson K2 or bath salts, and the alleged victim said no. The defense passed the witness back to the prosecution, and he opened several of the sealed envelopes that were in the SANE kit.

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