Knox County District Attorney General - Charme P. Allen

Gang Member Convicted of Biting Off Officer's Thumb

Posted: 02/01/2019

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Career Gang Unit obtained convictions against a gang member and sovereign citizen who bit off the end of an officer’s thumb.  Alexander Ray Johnson, 30, was convicted of Aggravated Assault and two counts of Assault.  Judge Bob McGee set the case for sentencing on March 28.

At trial, Assistant District Attorneys Phil Morton and TaKisha Fitzgerald explained to the jury that on June 14, 2017, Knoxville Police Department Officer Tim Edwards stopped a vehicle driven by Johnson for speeding and for not having a license plate.  Instead of a valid license plate, Johnson’s vehicle displayed a plate claiming a right to travel as a “Sovereign Hebrew Israelite.”  Also, Johnson would not provide a valid driver’s license and argued with Ofc. Edwards about whether speeding was a crime.  Ofc. Trey Lane arrived as a backup officer as Johnson became more hostile.  When officers asked Johnson to step out of the car, he refused.  As officers attempted to take Johnson into custody, he began fighting officers, kicking and punching them.  During the fight, Johnson bit the tip off of Ofc. Lane’s right thumb causing permanent damage.

“We can all be proud of how professionally the police handled a very difficult situation,” said DA Charme Allen. 

Aggravated Assault is a Class C felony that carries a punishment between three and six years in prison.  At sentencing, prosecutors will ask for the maximum sentence citing the danger Johnson poses to the community.  Prosecutors will also cite the fact that the jury found Johnson to be a member of the Bloods criminal street gang.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or sean.mcdermott@knoxcounty.org.  For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at www.knoxcounty.org/dag and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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City County Building 400 Main Street
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Knoxville, TN 37902