Clinton Roosevelt Delaney, 29, sighed, smiled and declared her innocence as several family members spoke in court on Thursday about their grief over losing Ashley Johnson and her unborn child.
Delaney was sentenced in 2020 to 40 years in Ramsey County District Court for fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend. In July, a jury found him guilty.
He was not physically present in court, but spoke to St. Cloud State Prison via Zoom, an option that upset family members, who had traveled and stopped work to attend his sentencing. . His lawyer told him that he decided not to appear in person as he did not want to be isolated because of the COVID protocol on his return to jail.
“You don’t deserve pity… This man has no remorse. He murdered his own child. He shot my daughter as she was on the run,” Johnson’s mother, Ginny Williams, told her victim. Said sobbing while reading the impact statement. “Every time I close my eyes I see my daughter lying there, crying out to help me, and I couldn’t.”
Johnson, 29, was found with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle at Hall Avenue and West Stevens Street in St. Paul shortly before 3 a.m. on June 3, 2020. His vehicle had bullet holes on the passenger side and its windows were broken.
Judge Sarah Graving sentenced Delaney to the maximum penalty because she said Johnson, who was unsafe because she was pregnant, was treated with special cruelty.
“Mr. Delaney knew Miss Johnson was pregnant, shot her because she was pregnant, and shot her multiple times because of that pregnancy,” Greing said. “I have found that the upward departure is justified, as Miss Johnson was treated with special cruelty, for which Mr Delaney should be held responsible.”
On this announcement, the family members started crying after hugging each other.
“Thank you, thank you,” Williams said.
Delaney was sentenced to 480 months. Of that, he would serve two-thirds in prison and one-third on supervised release. He is credited with serving 248 days. He has also been ordered to pay $6,350 in restitution.
According to the police investigation, Delaney was upset by the pregnancy and the ongoing drama between him and his girlfriend, with whom he has a pre-school child.
A week after Johnson’s death, a police investigator received a call from someone who was at the residence with Delaney on the night of the shooting, who told officers that he heard Delaney telling someone else at the home that night that She’s “f-ed up”. and shot Johnson, saying he was crazy to “play with the mother of his child,” and that she might be pregnant with his child, the allegations said. Johnson was about a month into the pregnancy.
Defense attorney, Barry Edwards, asked the court to take into account Delaney’s difficult life. He was born premature because his mother had consumed cocaine while she was pregnant.
Speaking from prison, Delaney said, “I’m sorry for any harm… I’m innocent, and that’s all I have to say.”
Johnson leaves behind four children – an autistic teenage son and three daughters – who are cared for by other family members.
Johnson’s brother, Bryant Brown, said: “The trauma and loss to these children is unimaginable and irreparable.”