The office of Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg, who is currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump, has handed an alleged repeat felon slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor charges, the New York Post reports.
Rodney Johnson, who allegedly has almost 90 busts to his name, had felony charges related to robbery reduced to misdemeanors by the Manhattan DA’s office in late March, the NY Post reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement sources.
Johnson allegedly stole items from a CVS and a Walgreens in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood March 24. He ostensibly threatened Walgreens employees with pepper spray as they confronted him, according to court records reviewed by the NY Post.
Police aimed to charge Johnson with attempted robbery and robbery in the third degree, the outlet reported, citing the court docs. The charges were later downgraded to misdemeanor menacing and petty larceny, according to the NY Post.
The judge overseeing the case set a $1 bail on the previous charges despite their non-bail-eligible nature, according to the NY Post. It remains unclear whether Johnson has posted bail. (RELATED: Trump Pleads Not Guilty To 34 Charges, Indictment Unsealed)
— New York Post (@nypost) April 4, 2023
Johnson has served state prison time on two separate convictions, one for robbery in 1994 and one for grand larceny in 1998, the NY Post reported, citing state correction records. Johnson also reportedly has a domestic violence record, as he allegedly threatened to kill the daughter of an ex-girlfriend in 2005.
Defense attorney and former Bronx prosecutor Mike Discioarro reportedly argued that the “major principle of our system is the more crimes you commit, the worse the punishment” before questioning how Johnson allegedly got a deal.
A Legal Aid Society spokesperson said that while police have the power make recommendations during sentencing, the ultimate decision on whether to charge or not remains in the hands of prosecutors. The Legal Aid Society is representing Johnson, according to the NY Post.
Bragg announced in January 2022 that criminals would not be handed prison sentences unless they were found guilty of murder, violent felonies, major white collar crimes or sex offenses. The DA has downgraded 52% of felony cases to misdemeanors and requested bail in 49% of felony cases since assuming his role.