Guilty: Jury doesn't buy self-defense claim

Posted at 7:35 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 21:35:05-05

A jury deliberated just five hours before handing out a guilty verdict in a controversial self-defense case that divided a rural Arizona city for years.

Robert Verdugo was convicted of manslaughter for the 2010 death of 25-year-old Scott Johnson.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 12. Verdugo faces between seven and 21 years in prison, officials said. The presumptive sentience is 10.5 years.

“It’s such a relief,” said Roberta Johnson, Scott’s mother. “For somebody to finally take this to court and see that what happened that night was totally wrong.”

The ABC15 Investigators profiled the case in 2012 and raised questions about the death and the integrity of the police investigation. A few months later, new county attorney Bradley Beauchamp was elected and took a new look at the case and sent it to a grand jury.

The indictment was handed down in January.

To learn more about the case watch the video above.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at