Jamestown couple faces kidnapping and concealment charges

The case against a Jamesotwn couple accused of concealing the whereabouts of two minors last November is moving ahead in county court.

Michael D. Johnson, 38, 720 Buffalo St., was held for court in the wake of a preliminary hearing last week while Christine M. Johnson, 38, waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Pennsylvania State Police were contacted by the parent of one of the juveniles, who had left a note on her bedroom door stating that she ran away.

The parent allegedly told police that he contacted the Johnsons and Michael Johnson told him he had “no idea” where his daughter was. The affidavit states that he had given state police a similar answer.

Police eventually located the juveniles at a playground in New York State. One told police that they contacted Christine Johnson asking to be picked up at their home in Sheffield and then to pick up a friend in Farmington Twp.

After the Johnsons picked up the juveniles, they went to multiple residences in Jamestown, one of which is identified in the affidavit as a “‘safe house’ in case the police were to come to (the Johnson’s) house looking for them.”

Troopers state in the affidavit that the Johnsons “at no point” had parental permission to pick up the juveniles.

During the preliminary hearing last week against Michael Johnson, the victims detailed where they went with the Johnsons.

“We were planning to run away,” one of the victims testified, ultimately going to a playground at 3 a.m. “because (we) didn’t want to get caught.”

District Judge Raymond Zydonik found that the Commonwealth proved a “prima facie” case, the burden of proof at a preliminary hearing — that it’s likely that a crime was committed and that a defendant likely committed those crimes.

Each defendant faces two counts of interference with the custody of children, concealment of the whereabouts of a child and kidnapping of a minor.

Both remain behind bars at the Warren County Jail.


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