Man sentenced in Somerton murder


A Belmont County man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to aggravated murder earlier this month.

Harold Johnson, 45, was just about to go to trial for killing a Jerusalem, Ohio man--Clint Stephens--in December of 2016.

It happened along State Route 800 south of Somerton.

Stephens was shot multiple times in the head and neck while sitting in his vehicle.

Deputies arrested Johnson just a few miles away from the scene.

In the courtroom on Monday, Johnson said he regrets what happened.

"Until today, there' been no sign of any remorse," Judge John Vavra said.

In noting Johnson's history of violent and irresponsible conduct, Vavra sentenced Johnson to life in prison, though he is eligible for parole after 20 years. He must serve an additional three years for a gun specification.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry believes some sort of a love triangle was behind the incident.

“The defendant was in a relationship with a female prior to this incident, and I believe they had broken up in mid-summer 2016,” Fry said. “She then began dating our deceased, and as far as we could tell that was the motive for what took place."

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