Man Claims Voices Caused Him to Crash into City Hall

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May 20, 2009

A Wichita man has been sentenced to 122 months in prison for driving his car through Wichita's City Hall.

A judge sentenced Marcus Johnson today.

Johnson pleaded no contest to criminal damage to property, making a criminal threat, and battery of a law enforcement officer.

Johnson drove his car through City Hall in January, 2008. Earlier in the evening, Wichita Police had pulled Johnson over for driving with a loud stereo. Johnson told the officers he was going to drive his car through City Hall. This happened in January of last year. Johnson crashed through the front doors of city hall. The car flew past the elevators and crashed into security at the west end of the building. All the while, the video shows officer chasing on foot. In court Wednesday morning, Johnson spoke about his mental health issues and asked for leniency.
"It got out of hand. I was at Quick Trip one night, and I told an officer I was going to run my car through city hall, and I did. I'm sorry that that happened," Johnson told the sentencing Judge. He also said he was hearing voices the night he drove his car into city hall.
"Right now you are having him punished, and I don't think he's getting help," said Maurice Johnson as he asked the judge to keep his brother out of prison. The judge sentenced Johnson to prison for more than ten years for criminal battery on a law enforcement officer, criminal damage and criminal threat. He also ordered Johnson to pay $142,000 in restitution to the city for the damage he caused.

***Note about the security video. The cameras were motion activated, so the people you see on screen may have been there hours earlier. Prosecutors said in court no citizens were in imminent danger inside City Hall.

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