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Antione Johnson

Other Philadephia County, Pennsylvania exonerations with official misconduct
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On June 5, 2018, police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania arrested 32-year-old Antione Johnson on a felony charge of distributing a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance.

In March 2019, Johnson, who was free on bond, went to trial in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas and chose to have his case decided by a judge without a jury. Police officer Jason Seigafuse testified that he saw Johnson give a large amount of crack cocaine to several people in a vehicle that drove off. No drugs were found on Johnson.

When the vehicle was stopped by police, officers said they saw one of the passengers attempting to eat some narcotics. Police recovered only .023 grams of cocaine—a miniscule amount.

Nonetheless, on March 22, 2019, Johnson was convicted of felony distribution of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

In June 2019, while Johnson was awaiting sentencing, his attorney learned that in August 2011, Seigafuse had posted online a photograph (taken illegally) in a courtroom of a fellow officer and commented: “Lying at court as usual.”

The comment was disclosed when the Plain View Project published a database that listed racist or violent social media posts by hundreds of police officers across the country.

Johnson’s attorney, Jonathan Altschuler, filed a motion for extraordinary relief in July 2019 seeking to vacate Johnson’s convictions. The motion said that the posting as well as others made by Seigafuse called the officer’s credibility into question.

“Officer Seigafuse was the only officer to testify that Mr. Johnson engaged in any illegal activity,” reads the motion. “Officer Seigafuse made public postings on Facebook making light of fellow officers lying under oath, after illegally photographing them in court, along with his cavalierly sharing racist articles.”

On September 19, 2019, Judge Stephanie Sawyer granted the motion and vacated Johnson’s convictions. On February 20, 2020, the prosecution dismissed the charges.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 3/27/2020
State:Pennsylvania
County:Philadelphia
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:Misdemeanor
Reported Crime Date:2018
Convicted:2019
Exonerated:2020
Sentence:Not sentenced
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of reported crime:32
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No