Pendleton marine pleads not guilty for Christmas standoff
VISTA (CNS) – A Camp Pendleton-based Marine accused of shooting up his
apartment in Vista on Christmas night, prompting a standoff with sheriff's
deputies, pleaded not guilty today to negligent discharge of a firearm and
shooting at an occupied dwelling.
Christopher Michael Johnson, 26, — who remains free on $25,000 bail —
faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney
As a condition of bail, Judge Martin Staven ordered the defendant to
abstain from alcohol, not possess any firearms and stay confined to the Camp
Pendleton base. Johnson must also wear an alcohol- and home-detention
monitoring bracelet beginning Monday, the judge said.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Johnson fired
multiple rounds from his .44-caliber magnum revolver inside his apartment in
the 900 block of Taylor Street in Vista around 11:50 p.m. Dec. 25.
“Rounds went through a flat-screen TV in the living room,” sheriff's
Sgt. Tom Ness said. “Another round, possibly fired through a bedroom patio
screen door, traveled through a closed window of a nearby apartment. The window
shattered and some of the vertical window blinds broke. Fragments of the bullet
were located on a small kitchen table.”
Sheriff's deputies attempted to contact Johnson by phone and via a
public address system, Ness said. The Sheriff's Special Enforcement Detail was
called to the scene after Johnson failed to respond.
“Once Johnson complied with commands and exited his apartment, deputies
took him into custody without incident,” Ness said. “A number of handguns
and rifles were seized from the apartment as evidence.”
Johnson was arrested about 4:45 a.m. Dec. 26. No one was injured in the
incident, Ness said, adding that the motive was unclear.
The judge scheduled a Feb. 3 readiness conference and a Feb. 24
preliminary hearing date.