CLEARWATER, Fla. – A Pinellas County Circuit Court judge sentenced a Clearwater man to 18 years in the state Department of Corrections for vehicular homicide of a school crossing guard.
Julius Johnson, 31, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a slew of charges, including first-degree felony of leaving the scene of a crash involving death, second-degree felony vehicular homicide and second-degree felony neglect of a child.
“The 18 years is a long time to be sure, but the time will pass,” Judge William H. Burgess III said. “It’s in everybody’s interest that you serve your sentence, that you get out and you rejoin the community as a productive member of the community.
Authorities arrested Johnson on May 20, 2014, for vehicular manslaughter of school crossing guard Douglas Carey. The incident happened at the intersection of Gulf to Bay Boulevard and Belcher Road in Clearwater.
Carey joined the Clearwater Police Department in 1968. After 21 years as a security officer at Morton Plant Hospital, Carey began working as a crossing guard for the department in 2010.
Law enforcement arrested Johnson again on Oct. 20, 2016, on charges of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended or revoked license and trafficking of cocaine.
On Tuesday morning, Johnson pleaded guilty to several charges in both cases. Some of the charges will run concurrent to the 18-year sentence.
Johnson’s next status hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.