Court denies appeal by Mississippi rapper serving life plus 20 years for shooting man in back during performance

Published 7:42 am Friday, November 10, 2023

A Mississippi rapper serving life plus 20 years in jail for shooting a man in the back at a Louisiana nightclub during a performance has had an appeal denied by the Louisiana courts.

Jordon Johnson, from Natchez, was 25 years old when Seventh Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson sentenced him to life plus 20 years without the possibility of parole for the 2018 murder of Da’John Mitchell.

Johnson’s conviction was affirmed Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles.

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Johnson’s legal counsel appealed claiming that the court failed to excuse one of the jurors and failed to grant a motion for mistrial.

The defendant also filed a pro se brief asserting multiple errors. He complained that the “State of Louisiana court has nothing to do with this case” and that “there was no presentment to the Federal Magistrate.”

The court deemed these claims were unfounded.

“Serving on a jury is never easy. When the trial involves a homicide, the responsibility for weighing the evidence is of the utmost importance. The jury seated in defendant Jordan Johnson’s case did their job with distinction. I’m pleased the 3rd Circuit affirmed their unanimous verdict,” said Seventh Judicial District Attorney Bradley Burget. “I’ll leave the more frivolous, obviously unfounded aspects of the appeal for others to consider. We’re satisfied that justice was served and now there can be closure for all.”

On December 16, 2021, the Natchez rapper was convicted of second-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm in Catahoula Parish for the death of Da’John Mitchell.

Mitchell, 23, of Clayton, was shot on Dec. 15, 2018, while Johson was performing at a nightclub in Jonesville called “Suga Shak.”

Authorities said Johnson was a known gang member who went by the stage name “Yungen Gunning.” Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies in conjunction with Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies later arrested Johnson at his residence in the Holiday Apartments in Natchez.

After his conviction, Burget said Johnson had a person filming his performance when Mitchell allegedly bumped into a stage member and a fight between Mitchell and Johnson broke out. Johnson then shot Mitchell in the back with a .380 pistol and continued to fire at Mitchell four more times after he hit the floor.

Johnson was previously convicted at 18-years-old after he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault in relation to his part in a 2014 shooting incident.

He and three other teenagers were accused of shooting at three men who had driven through the Maryland Heights apartment complex. One victim was struck in the arm by a bullet, another was grazed in the left side of the head and a third victim grazed in the leg.

Court records show Johnson was sentenced in March 2016 for his part in the incident to 10 years in prison with five years suspended and five years post-release supervision on count one; 10 years to run concurrently on count two; and 10 years with five years formal reporting, meaning he had to report to a parole officer, on count three.

Johnson was released on probation from the Mississippi Department of Corrections months before Mitchell was shot to death in Jonesville.