Hartford Cop Defense: On Duty Shooting, Gambling Led To Theft

(CBS Connecticut) — Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, for a former Hartford Police detective who admitted to stealing almost $30-thousand in concealed weapons permit fees.

In a pre-sentencing court filing, federal prosecutors write that Tishay Johnson corrupted his office and betrayed the trust placed in him by the city of Hartford. They ask the judge to issue a sentence of between 6 months and a year in jail.

But the defense argued that Johnson took the money to feed his casino gambling addiction, and that he suffered from PTSD, because of an incident in which he was shot while on-duty.

Johnson ran the city’s concealed weapons permit program.  He altered hundreds of checks and money orders, to make it look like they had been made payable to him.

Federal prosecutors say Johnson stole an average of one or two checks per week, for five years.

He also created records that claimed applicants for concealed weapons permits had passed a background check, when they really had not. State Police double-check the backgrounds of applicants, according to prosecutors.

But in a letter to the judge, Johnson’s wife says he changed after he was shot in the line of duty in 2003.

Milagros Marrero-Johnson writes that it was a traumatic experience, that was difficult to deal with.

Defense psychologist Christopher Penta writes that the former detective suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and compulsive gambling, and that he believed he could think his way out of the mathematical certainties of casino gambling.

His lawyer said Johnson was abused as a child for six years.  The defense asked the judge to spare the former detective from any jail time.

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