Tuesday, September 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

’4 guys, 4 guns’ case ends with acquittals

By
From page A3 | August 02, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — It’s a case of four young black men in a BMW on a Saturday night speeding on North Texas Street. All four of them ended up in jail that night. All four of them had felony charges wind through the court system for nearly two years.

Their cases wrapped up Friday with a jury finding one of them not guilty of a pair of felony charges.

“Four guys, four guns,” the prosecutor told jurors several times at the close of a brief jury trial for Wade Wilson Jr.

On the night of Oct. 27, 2012, Wilson, 22, was in the front passenger seat of the black BMW when Fairfield police officer Chad Grimm spotted the car doing about 45 mph on North Texas. Grimm pulled the BMW over and later claimed he noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the car, even though lawyers for the four men pointed out that no marijuana was found with any of the men or in the car.

Grimm recognized the driver, Blake Johnson, and called for backup. All four men were out of the car within a few minutes.

Johnson, 24, had a gun in his pants pocket. Jason S. Antone, 24, had a gun tucked in the waistband of his pants. Imran Escorcia, 24, was sitting behind Johnson and police found a gun a few inches from where his feet had been, under the driver’s seat.

The fourth gun – all them were loaded and unregistered – was shoved down between the center console and the front passenger seat.

The prosecutor told jurors again and again that the gun was only a few inches from Wilson. He often linked that fact to “Four guys, four guns.” The prosecutor was not counting the fifth gun police later seized during a search of Johnson’s home.

Wilson’s defense attorney told jurors the BMW was not her client’s and since the gun was concealed in the car, he had no way of knowing it was there.

Escorcia was in court earlier this week. He was remanded to serve out a 45-day jail sentence after pleading no contest to having concealed a loaded gun in a car.

Antone also got 45 days of jail time when he was in court in July for carrying a loaded gun.

Johnson got the longest sentence, 473 days in jail, after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of concealing a gun in a car.

Grimm had recognized Johnson because Johnson had shot and killed two men earlier in the year at the Parkway Garden condominium complex. Johnson had been with a drug dealer friend who was selling some marijuana when the buyers decided to rob Johnson. The robbers pulled guns and snatched Johnson’s gold chain as Johnson pulled his own gun.

After the shooting stopped, two of the four robbers were dead and Johnson was unhurt. Johnson was arrested and later released after authorities decided he had acted in self-defense.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 23 comments

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  • rahAugust 02, 2014 - 5:23 am

    The officer who did the initial stop lied about the smell of weed in the car.So now you have all four back on the streets good job officer.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • HmmmmAugust 02, 2014 - 6:52 am

    What if the weed he smelled had just been smoked? Or maybe they were transporting weed just prior to these guys getting stopped?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • truth'nAugust 02, 2014 - 11:30 am

    You have no clue if the "officer lied" or not. I would believe the officer over you any day. This is proof Solano County has stupid jurors and judges.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • 2realAugust 02, 2014 - 6:22 am

    So the murderer johnson is back on the streets? After not only murdering two people while trying make a drug deal but months later arrested with four guns in a speeding car. This county is a joke. Watch out everyone their letting murderers walk free like theres no tomorrow.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • gemmaAugust 02, 2014 - 7:49 am

    2real-It seems we both remember the same story, unlike the tools reporting false facts. This says Johnson went with a dealer to Parkway, and Johnson was robbed. SMMFH Johnson WAS the dealer. Johnson then proceeded to murder 2 people, to on the run, was found at the Bart Station, kissed on the cheek for returning, and send on his way with a pat on the back, and a good luck wish for his future endeavors. He was immediately in the news again after that case, and now here we go again. So if I go to the store to sell d rugs, and someone tries to steal my d rugs, I can kill them? That must mean I can call FFPD and complain if my drugs are stolen, or if they aren't up to the level I demand, right? They act like this fool is Robin Hood, doing a service to the community, when in actuality he's committing crimes but was given a permanent get out of jail free card.

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  • CD BrooksAugust 02, 2014 - 7:04 am

    I'm not a cop or lawyer but isn't the operative word here "guns?" I mean we're talking concealed illegal possession of weapons right? As a law-abiding citizen this really pisses me off. As a non-gun-owner, this means I am not safe in Fairfield because nobody is watching people like this and when they do catch them, they get off on a "technicality?" This BS has to stop and the bad guys must not keep running this city.

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  • Mr.RAugust 02, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Arm yourself. FFPD is not going to protect you and your family from these scum bag.ARM YOURSELF

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • lisaAugust 02, 2014 - 7:19 am

    Shot and killed two people during a drug deal gone wrong and he is still on the streets?? I thought a drug dealing was against the law.. he wouldn't have had to defend himself is he wasn't selling drugs WOW

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  • In the knowAugust 02, 2014 - 7:40 am

    Headline is wrong- it's three guilty pleas and one not guilty. Boy it sounded a lot different. And the smell of marijuana will almost always permeate clothing for some time. Remember what the defense attorney says is not evidence. That's Mr. Sullivan's way of showing up for just the closing argument and making it sound like he covered the whole trial from opening to closing.

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  • Huh?August 02, 2014 - 7:44 am

    Okay I don't get it Jess. Why say BLACK?? If they were white or Asian would you describe that too? Also, check your scribble notes, Grimm's first name isn't Chad, bad guess, like your opinions.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithAugust 02, 2014 - 7:50 am

    Released because authorities decided he had acted in self-defense? I never understood this logic, and still don't. What were these "authorities" thinking? So if I carry a concealed handgun (without a permit to carry) and I happen to get into a shootout with some other dudes I have just met for some kind of illegal transaction, and I just happen to kill a couple of them before they could kill me, will I walk? Somehow I doubt it, even though I have no prior police record. Yet this guy walked. And returned to the streets to further his criminal career. What is wrong with this picture? Somebody please tell me. At the very least, tell me I can go ahead and carry a concealed weapon (without a permit) and not be hassled if I decide it is necessary to use it on some folks. That would be equal justice under the (Solano County) law, right?

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  • gemmaAugust 02, 2014 - 7:59 am

    Mr Smith-Nope, you carrying would be illegal, you'd be thrown in jail and spend so much money on a lawyer fighting your case, you'd probably lose your house. I always thought self defense was protecting your safety, NOT your illegal d rugs? What about the fact that he got away with that double murder, and is still carrying and selling? Is he OJ Simpson, thinks he's teflon because he got away with the first crime? They find a gun at his house, and throw that out, and the loser gets off with PROBATION! This place is such a f'n joke. "Citizens don't need CCW, it causes more trouble, and they should rely on LE for protection." I read that a few short years ago. So basically all the criminals have guns, and the law abiding citizens have phones, to call 911? Yeah, that makes sense.

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  • Snuggle bunnyAugust 02, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Wow, I just posted a comment but it was not put up guess the truth hurts the police department???

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  • Snuggle bunnyAugust 02, 2014 - 7:56 am

    Give up 3, go free and if they are still out there!!!! They must be the snitches!!!!! That keep the police busy or someone is on the take!!!! Or damn sure getting paid!!!!

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  • StreetwiseAugust 02, 2014 - 7:58 am

    What, the cops didn't check the guns (especially the one close to Wilson) for prints or DNA? No wonder we have so many losers & thugs on the street with illegal (lol) guns. They know thay can get away with it with little to no punishment. So why is it so hard to get a CCW?

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  • MattAugust 02, 2014 - 8:25 am

    I think it's time we stopped blaming the police in Fairfield and started looking at the courts. The Police sound like they are doing everything right. Making the arrest, searching the vehicles, filing paperwork correctly. The problem is that the court system is so sympathetic towards criminals who race down major streets with loaded unregistered guns, that the whack public defenders (whose salaries are paid by us good tax paying citizens not the criminals in this story) can win a case and get them back on the streets to do it again. The district attorney needs to take a look at the amount of criminals using our jail like a revolving door and start pushing for more convictions and urging for harsher punishments before more innocent people in Fairfield start getting hurt

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithAugust 02, 2014 - 8:53 am

    I agree with Matt. Just from newspaper accounts alone, it appears some of our judges are letting us law-abiding citizens down. That needs to change. Hopefully, the DA's office will improve, also.

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  • Blame the judges!August 02, 2014 - 9:26 am

    I'm positive non of the judges and prosecutors giving these career criminals a slap on the wrist live ANYWHERE NEAR Solano County! They wouldn't let these dangerous people loose in their neighborhood. The cops do the arrest. But once it gets to the courts, the don't make them accountable. I bet its frustrating for the cops to have to deal with the same pos that they keep arresting. Smh

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  • PaqkleaderAugust 02, 2014 - 9:29 am

    What a joke...smfh

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bill of RightsAugust 02, 2014 - 10:41 am

    Anger is being misdirected in this case. First off, sound like 3 of the 4 defendants brokered a plea deal with the DA's office. Any complaints need to be directed to the DA's office. This includes any complaints for dealing with Blake Johnson. Lastly, a jury (Solano County citizens) voted to aquit Wilson. The DA's Office fought to convict after the police took 4 gun toting thugs off of the street. So stones should be thrown at the citizens of Solano and their liberal views. That is who is destroying this county and state!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StreetwiseAugust 02, 2014 - 11:11 am

    There is a saying "When second’s count the police are only minutes away." Basically, if you solely rely on the police for protection you could end up "dead" wrong. We need more "legal" CCW's because you are your first line of defense. Think it's safe to say you can't just count on the police & our Criminal Justice System. I mean, really, how's that workin!

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  • teeteeAugust 02, 2014 - 1:41 pm

    Ahaha is yall MAD OR NAH ??

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rhcAugust 02, 2014 - 8:21 pm

    Let one of these FOUR try to break into my house!!! Come on!! I dare you!! They aren't the only ones with guns!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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