Greensboro man pleads innocent to murder

Convenience store intervenor pleads self-defense in home attack

Darryl Johnson pleaded innocent to second degree murder and manslaughter

NEWPORT — A Greensboro man entered not guilty pleas to charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter, following a shooting incident that took place on October 20.

Daryl Johnson is accused of killing 27-year-old Robert Chaplin, of East Hardwick, and was ordered to be held without bail after appearing in Orleans County Superior criminal court in Newport on Monday.

According to court documents, the series of events that led to the shooting began at the Hardwick Kwik Stop & Deli when a store clerk called the Hardwick Police Department after Chaplin was denied service to purchase alcohol because he was deemed too intoxicated.

Johnson intervened in the dispute between Chaplin and the store clerk, and by the time police arrived at the store, Chaplin was gone.

According to the affidavit, Johnson told the responding officer that Chaplin told him he knew where he lived and would be going to his home to “deal with him” later that night.

Johnson told the Hardwick police officer that if Chaplin showed up at his house, he would shoot him.

The affidavit states that Johnson is seen on surveillance footage shoving Chaplin through the store’s door, and around to the back parking lot.

At no point at the store can Chaplin be seen acting in a physically assaultive manner, police say.

About 90 minutes later, Chaplin arrived at Johnson’s home on Eligo Lake Road, in Greensboro, and the altercation ensued.

According to the affidavit, when Chaplin arrived Johnson grabbed a .22-caliber pistol and a spotlight and went outside and told him to leave, shining the spotlight in his face and warning him he had a gun.

Johnson told police that Chaplin pushed open the door of his vehicle and lunged at him.

He allegedly shot him in the chest and arm.

Chaplin was unarmed.

The affidavit states that Johnson is quoted as saying “It was totally self-defense. I was in fear for my life, especially from what happened earlier. He’s lucky I didn’t bring my shotgun.”

Court records state that Johnson and Chaplin knew each other, and the two worked together at one point at Gravel Construction.

The second-degree murder charge alleges that Johnson acted with an intent to kill, do great bodily harm, or with a wanton disregard for the likelihood death or great bodily harm would result.

The maximum penalty second-degree murder carries is up to life in prison, and manslaughter not less than one year in jail and no more than 15 years.

Johnson can only be convicted on one of the charges.

Republished from the Nov. 3 Newport Dispatch

5 replies »

    • Right now, none of us knows the whole story. I have to ask you how this is premeditated murder. The man is home minding his own business after coming to the aid of a store clerk. The clerk was apparently being harassed by a drunken person after being refused the sale of alcohol. The other man intervened to help the clerk and the intoxicated person threatened him and said he would take care of him later. Well later, the guy shows up at Johnson’s house to follow up on the threat. Personally, my opinion, if all these facts are true the charge of 2nd degree murder is ridicules. Premeditated means planned in advance. Do you think Mr. Johnson planned to shoot and kill anyone that night while he was at the store. This could be more anti-gun signaling from the prosecutor. When all the facts are available is when a judgment can be rendered, not before. I stated an opinion based on what we currently know, that could change.

  1. Question: If the deceased had not threatened, (“According to the affidavit, Johnson told the responding officer that Chaplin told him he knew where he lived and would be going to his home to “deal with him” later that night.”) and then gone to the home of Mr. Johnson, would we be discussing this ? I do not refer to the deceased as a “victim” because he died of circumstances that he alone controlled.

  2. There may be more to the story, and obviously one key witness wont be telling his side. If it’s true that the deceased uttered a credible threat of “deal with him”, let it be known that he knows where the accused lives and then shows up there after dark, a “reasonable person” would have to assume he meant to do physical harm. When the lawful occupant of the property confronts him ON HIS OWN PROPERTY and gives warning that he is armed and prepared to defend himself, a “reasonable person” would expect the now-deceased to retreat the situation. When the now-deceased exits the vehicle in a threatening manner and is within a short distance of the property owner, a “reasonable person” would have no cause to blame the property owner from firing his weapon on target. A warning shot is nice if you have the luxury of time and distance, but those are the kinds of facts that will need to be brought out.
    If I was on the jury with the present set of facts…NOT GUILTY. Our laws in these matters permit what a “reasonable person” would do under the set of circumstances. I give the benefit of the doubt to the samaritan who is defending the store clerk, who is, by the way restricted by State law from selling alcohol to anyone he even suspects of being intoxicated.
    Hopefully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing, Mr. Johnson will stand as a poster child
    for those who do not feel they should be bullied and threatened for being a good citizen and should not be targeted by prosecution when they do so.