Johns suddenly pleads guilty as murder trial commences

Johns suddenly pleads guilty as murder trial commences

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of an Albany man accused of shooting an Albany State student, but on Wednesday, the defendant stopped the trial with a guilty plea.

Joshua Johns was accused of killing Bruce Mullen during a robbery attempt on June 30, 2011 outside an east Albany apartment. Police said Mullen was standing in a breezeway of the apartment complex when he was shot in the chest.

The trial prompted a man hunt for a material witness. Malcolm Colbert was captured by Dougherty Co. Sheriff's deputies at 7:45 a.m. Friday on Woodhaven Lane, and was brought in to testify, but that testimony is now unneeded.

In May, while in jail awaiting trial, Johns threatened a to harm himself with a "shank."  Jailers found a six-inch long blade from a pair of scissors hidden in his mattress.

Stephen Lewis and Stephanie Harrison were also charged as accessories in Mullen's death at Hidden Oaks Apartments on Mock Road. They were convicted and will be sentenced on September 28.

Johns told the court that he was remorseful about what happened, and said he meant to rob Mullen, who was from Macon, but not shoot him.

Johns was sentenced in Dougherty Superior Court to serve a life sentence, with the possibility of parole. He must serve 30 years before who becomes eligible.

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