Devan Johnson, one of two men accused in a brutal Shawnee bar attack, has taken a plea deal in Pottawatomie County.
Both Johnson and Brandon Killian were charged with multiple crimes for the attack against Jerric Carolina, and another victim.
Jerric was taken to the hospital in June 2019, and he has not recovered from various injuries and suffers with PTSD.
In witness video taken from the scene during the fight, investigators said Johnson is heard yelling racial slurs at the victim who is on the ground with critical injuries.
Johnson will serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to Aggravated Assault and Battery, Malicious Intimidation, and Threatening to Perform an Act of Violence.
Johnson’s attorney provided a police report to News 9. In that Shawnee police document, it states the other victim in the case did not believe the attack was “racially motivated.”
However, Jerric’s family said the evidence and injures speak for themselves.
“You can't say it wasn't about race when you blurted out the n-word, said he was a dead n-word,” said Jamie Carolina, Jerric’s wife. “The other person who was beat on, got up and walked away while my husband was lifeless.”
Family said Jerric could not make it to court for the sentencing because of his current health conditions. They add the last time they saw the suspect in court, Johnson continued to harass their family.
“When Mr. Johnson left the courthouse last week, he turned to my client and my client's wife. As he was driving off, he yelled out, go tell your b**** boyfriend now,” said Jerric’s Attorney Ed Maguire, the victim’s attorney.
Family said this isn’t the first time Johnson has made threats. After the attack at the bar, a witness came forward and said Johnson wanted revenge against those at the Brickhouse Saloon. The district attorney confirms that’s why Johnson was later charged with Threatening to Preform an Act of Violence.
“You threaten to shoot up Brickhouse and kill all the black people?” said Carolina.
As for Brandon Killian, he's already locked up on an unrelated matter, but his case is still open.
Investigators said he punched himself in the face after his arrest, reportedly claiming the injuries were from the fight.
“We expect him to be back over here and plead out as well,” said Maguire.
Family said they are working with the DA and lawmakers to strengthen hate crime punishments. They said they want the bill, which was introduced on Monday, to be named after Jerric Carolina.
“I am working with Senator Sharp to try and change that, so that it can be a felony the first time if it's severe enough,” said Pottawatomie County District Attorney Allan Grubb.
The bill will be assigned to a committee when the session begins in February. If it passes, it will allow district attorneys to choose whether to charge hate crime offenders with a misdemeanor or a felony.