Accused accomplice testifies against former Dallas Police officer accused in Sam’s Club robbery

Christopher Johnson told jurors Wednesday that a Dallas police officer wanted to be shot in his bulletproof vest to help conceal his role in the Red Bird-area robbery of a Sam’s Club.

“He wanted to make it look as real as possible,” said Johnson, 29.

He said he refused Officer Alph Coleman’s request, but went along with the officer’s June 2008 plot to rob the store where Coleman worked off-duty security. His share of the take was supposed to be $50,000.

Johnson took the stand for the prosecution Wednesday during Coleman’s aggravated robbery trial. Coleman, 32, has been fired and has pleaded not guilty. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Defense attorneys have sought to portray Johnson and another accused accomplice, Floyd “Junior” Gibson, as liars who concocted a story when pressured by police and prosecutors. Both Gibson and Johnson also each face a charge of aggravated robbery in the case.

Johnson says he was employed as a security guard at a mall when he met Coleman who was working off duty security there. Coleman introduced him Gibson.

On the afternoon of June 27, 2008, he said he received a call from Coleman wanting him come over to his Duncanville apartment. Gibson was there when he arrived. He testified that Coleman told him of the plot.

“I was kind of skeptical,” Johnson said.

He said they told him an unidentified Sam’s Club manager was in on it the heist and would hand over the money. Gibson, a convicted murder with a long rap sheet, made no mention of the manager’s involvement during his testimony Tuesday.

As planned, Gibson picked him up about 8 p.m. at the mall in Coleman’s Crown Victoria and drove him to the apartment complex adjacent to the store, Johnson said.

Gibson brought all of the equipment – a gun, a ski mask, black clothes, blue latex gloves and a back pack. After getting the go-ahead, he said he walked to the store to carry out the plot.

Surveillance video, entered into evidence, shows Coleman appearing to reach for his weapon as the gunman approaches.

Johnson said he kept the gun pointed at Coleman the entire time, but kept his finger off the trigger. He said the door was closed when they reached the cashier’s office.

The video shows Coleman beating on the door as the gunman stands behind him. The gunman left the store with Coleman after being unable to open the door.

“When we made it to the grassy area, he jumped on the ground, rolled and I ran toward the hole in the fence,” Johnson said. He and Gibson fled in the getaway vehicle. Gibson dropped him off at the mall.

Johnson testified that Coleman later told him that the Sam’s Club manager backed out.

–Tanya Eiserer/Reporter

Source: Crime Blog