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Man facing charges in 2 deaths walks out of Franklin County jail due to 'human error'

David Johnson III was let out of Franklin County jail last week.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man charged with murder for a Columbus shooting and involuntary manslaughter for the overdose death of his 1-year-old son was let out of jail due to "human error," according to a Franklin County judge.

David Johnson III was let out of Franklin County jail last week.

In April 2021, the Columbus Division of Police said Johnson got into a fight inside a house, shot and killed a man and injured a woman. Judge Jaiza Paige presided over the case. She set a bond, which Johnson paid and was placed on house arrest.

On Nov. 18, 2022, Johnson's 1-year-old son was found unresponsive inside his residence while he was sleeping. According to court documents, Columbus police officers found large amounts of fentanyl, meth and cocaine inside the house.

In the documents, Johnson admitted to selling and possessing the drugs.

The Franklin County Coroner ruled the baby died from a drug overdose and Johnson was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Paige said "an administrative error occurred in the filing of the document revoking his bond such that the jail was not notified and that is likely why he was released."

“I immediately revoked his bond, which is done by filing an entry that is then placed on the docket. It is my understanding that once the bond is revoked, the individual will remain in jail pending a new bond hearing or resolution of the case,” Paige said.

As a part of usual court operation, municipal court charges were then dropped, and new charges were brought in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

However, the jail was never told. On Nov. 29, Johnson was set free.

“Human error. It is a thing that we constantly try to have checks and balances within the court system to ensure that this does not happen. Unfortunately, in this situation it did. I have taken corrective action to ensure that we do not have this occurrence. It is not a common occurrence,” Paige said.

The Director of Legal Compliance for the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas said the clerk received an order from the court on Nov. 21 to revoke Johnson's bond, which the clerk did. However, the court did not tell the clerk to issue an arrest warrant for Johnson for the charges in common pleas court, therefore, there was no order to the sheriff's office to keep Johnson in jail.

Now, a man who faces charges in two deaths is on the run.

“I assure you all that I am committed to the work of this court and also committed to the safety of this community. As soon as the court was made aware, a warrant and capias were issued,” Paige explained.

While there is a warrant out for Johnson's arrest, Judge Paige pledges that the mistake won't be repeated.

“There will be additional training that will be done and checks and balances that will continue to be done and put in place to make sure something like this does not occur again,” Paige said.

10TV reached out to Johnson's attorney and he had no comment.

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