By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
A softer Johnson might have seemed plausible if jurors hadn’t also heard taped jailhouse-phone conversations of him angrily ordering PEN1 members roaming free in society to carry out home-invasion robberies, burglaries, assaults and murders.
From a May 28, 2007, call: “I’m really pissed. Now I want to fucking chop their heads off. Go get one! I said go get one now!”
From a Sept. 10, 2007, call: “Just start—you know what I mean, no bullshit, start killing motherfuckers. . . . I’m not fucking playing with nobody no more. Mr. Nice Guy is gone.”
From an April 5, 2008, call: “Fuck all of them motherfuckers, you know what I mean? Smash them all until they fucking go blind!”
One call provided jurors with a “Who’s on first?” moment. A PEN1-related girlfriend of Johnson finally realized that Orange County sheriff’s deputies were recording their calls.
Woman: Oh, oh, well, you know, they’re listening ’cause we know.
Johnson: I know that. You know that. We know that. So, you know what I mean.
Johnson: Um, um.
Woman: Now we know that they know.
Johnson: I know.
Woman: I know that they know, so now I’m letting you know that we all know.
Johnson: Yeah, so who cares if they know?
During testimony about those calls, Johnson described himself in a “cat-and-mouse game” with deputies. “I think I’m the cat,” he said, cracking a smile that showed his false front teeth.
In hopes of ensuring that a lone, bizarre juror somehow doesn’t feel sympathy for Johnson, Baytieh played a chilling recording of Johnson talking about himself in the third person: “He ain’t done yet. He’s gonna kill again—oh, man!”
“I’m a motherfucking, bona-fide, certified, fucking nut fucking case, and if they don’t like it, they can fuck off,” said Johnson, who speaks with a lisp. “You know what I mean? Put that on the fucking front page, you know what I mean? Nut case. Fucking don’t care.”
In a final attempt to bolster his monster image, Johnson told jurors that he is determined to kill members of United Society of Aryan Skinheads, a rival gang.
“I’m on a mission,” he said, winking at the prosecutor.
At press time, neither side had presented final arguments to the jury.