Man involved in beating gets 20 years
MINNEAPOLIS -- A man involved in the beating and setting on fire of another homeless man was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Stephen W. Johnson, 33, was given the maximum sentence for attempted murder in the attack on James Neville, who had to have both legs amputated.
Johnson and Troy Dean, 30, had beer and a liter of vodka when they asked Neville, who was then 44, to join them drinking in a southeast Minneapolis park in September 2001.
Neville was later found by police lying in a small fire with his legs on fire. He also suffered more than 20 fractures in his face.
Johnson had told police that he was capable of such an assault but that he didn't remember it because he had blacked out.
In giving the lengthy sentence Thursday, Hennepin County District Judge E. Anne McKinsey cited cruelty and gratuitous violence and the vulnerability of the victim.
Johnson was found guilty in August of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree aggravated robbery.