MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 25, 2012

Teen testifies against associates

Plea deal drops his charge from murder to robbery

— One of four males arrested in last November’s slaying of Roshun English testified against his co-defendants Wednesday in return for a reduced charge.

Romonne Levell Johnson Jr., 17, said in court that he agreed to testify against Dawaan Norwood, 22, and Schiavone Anderson, 18, in return for a 10-year sentence as a youthful offender for first-degree robbery.

Johnson, like the other defendants, had been charged with first-degree felony murder.

Wednesday marked the first day of testimony in the trial after more than two days of jury selection.

Johnson, Norwood and Anderson are three of four defendants in the slaying. The other man charged in the death, Jacorey Billings, 21, had his case severed from his co-defendants Oct. 18.

Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said last year that the felony murder charge means that prosecutors will have to prove to the jury only that English died during the commission of a felony.

Johnson testified Wednesday that he and Anderson went to English’s house Nov. 11 because Anderson was looking for a cigarillo.

Upon their arrival, Anderson and English began fighting, Johnson said. During that time, Billings — armed with a handgun — and Norwood came to the house.

Johnson testified that Billings ordered him, Anderson and Norwood to “look for anything of value” to take from the house.

Johnson said after that the group had gone through the house, Billings gave the gun to Norwood and led Johnson and Anderson outside to a shed.

Johnson said he took a rim off a car that was in the shed and placed it in Billings’ vehicle.

“Then, I took off jogging down an alley,” he said.

He testified that he was hiding in an abandoned house — “because I was scared” — for about five minutes before he heard a gunshot.

Johnson was detained shortly afterward by a police officer who saw him walking down a nearby street.

English’s girlfriend, Dana Webb, testified that Norwood pointed a gun at her after Billings had knocked English to the floor and gone outside.

Webb said English was telling Norwood not to hurt his family, and Norwood told him, “Tell your girlfriend if she moves I’m going to put this .15 (caliber) in her.”

Webb said English then charged Norwood and was shot. Webb, holding onto her 3-year-old son, ran outside into the woods and hid.

“I knew Jacorey was going to come back and kill me,” Webb said.

Webb testified that she had been emotional in the days after the shooting, which led her to have some difficulties identifying the four defendants in police photo lineups.

Webb also maintained there were at least five men in the house the day of the shooting — Billings, Johnson, Norwood, Anderson and “Anderson’s friend” — but authorities have said Johnson and “Anderson’s friend” are the same person.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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