Archived Story

Final escapee arrested with accomplice

Published 5:50pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The second escapee from a Morgan County work detail on Dec. 30 is now back in custody after being bitten by a K-9 unit during the search in Cullman County.


Sheriff Ana Franklin said deputies of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Morgan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Johnny Wayne Johnson of Cullman and his accomplice, Valerie Michelle Barnett, early Wednesday morning.

Both suspects were transported to the Morgan County Jail, where Johnson was charged with second-degree escape charges and Barnett is facing charges of facilitating escape.

Barnett is being held on $5,000 bond while Johnson has a total of $10,000 bond.

Cullman County deputies contacted the MCSO that they found the getaway vehicle, a white Lexus sedan, in their county. Morgan County investigators had the vehicle impounded by Cullman authorities.


Law enforcement officers from both counties searched one residence but did not find the fugitives there. Officers then went to the second residence, located at 498 County Road 698 in Holly Pond.

Two residents were identified and removed from the residence. Morgan County K-9 deputy Josh Gentry then announced for all persons in the house to come outside with their hands up or his K-9 partner Timber would be released.

As the suspects came out of a rear bedroom, they were told to lay down and put there arms out so their hands were visible.

Deputies said Barnett complied, but Johnson did not. Officers ordered him several times to show arresting officers his hands but refused to comply. The K-9 unit was then released.

Johnson suffered two bite wounds on the back of the head and his left arm. He was treated and released by emergency medical personnel on the scene. The on-duty medical staff at the Morgan County Jail treated Johnson and placed him on an antibiotic regimen.

Editor's Picks