BREAKING NEWS: Monrovia’s Derrick Johnson pleads not guilty to six counts, including attempted murder.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

A Monrovia High School senior and standout football player pleaded not guilty Monday in Fontana Court to charges of attempted murder, attempted robbery, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

Derrick Johnson, 18, of Monrovia, was arrested Wednesday following a botched robbery and shooting in Fontana.

He entered his plea at an in-custody arraignment and is being held in lieu of $1.425 million bail, court officials said.

Johnson is due back in court May 3, for a preliminary hearing, officials said. He is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. A court official said Johnson has not been assigned a public defender.

School officials, family members and others who know Johnson refused to speak about the arrest Monday.

Monrovia Unified School District superintendent Linda Wagner and Monrovia High principal Darvin Jackson did not return calls seeking comment. Monrovia athletic director Randy Bell and Monrovia football coach Ryan Maddox declined to comment.

Terry Brown, Johnson’s sister, also declined to comment Monday.

Johnson starred at linebacker for the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia Wildcats. During the 2010 season, the All-CIF selection recorded 110 tackles and had three sacks. He was named Rio Hondo League Linebacker of the Year. Johnson was also named to this newspaper’s All-San Gabriel Valley Team, which combines football players from both the east and west sides of the San Gabriel Valley.

Police said the shooting took place Wednesday after two teens, one of which is alleged to be Johnson, pointed a revolver at two brothers in the 14200 block of Baseline Avenue.

Fontana police Sgt. Billy Green said the brothers, aged 22 and 16, were waiting for their parents to finish work cleaning a nearby pre-school.

The brothers were approached by the gunmen and asked if they wanted to buy some marijuana, Green said.

When the brothers declined, one of the suspects produced a handgun and demanded money. The brothers said they didn’t have any money, and ran away.

Shots were fired and the 22-year-old was hit twice, once in the left side of his body and once in his buttocks, Green said.

Following the incident, the shooters fled on foot. Johnson and a 17-year-old accomplice, who was not identified by police, were apprehended a short time later at a nearby housing development, Green said.

The arrests occurred at a housing complex in the 14000 block of Bancroft Court in Fontana, slightly more than a mile from the shooting location, Green said.

Green was not sure whether police discovered a handgun, or how much, if any, marijuana was recovered.

Staff Writers Aram Tolegian and J.D. Velasco contributed to this story.

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  • Anonymous

    WOW, this is the biggest article written on this kid his entire football career at MHS. With all of his accolades one would wonder who he was execpt for some of the bloggers. I hope that everything pans out well for this kid. He has/or had the opportunity to go far in his college career. It’s sad that some of these kids need to reach for these kinds of desperate measures to find an means to an end.

  • Miguel Melendez

    We wrote extensively on Derrick Johnson and the benefits of having such a bruising tackle. In fact, I featured before the season even started.

  • elrayoex

    Looks like the next feature will be written by Frank Giradot.

  • Hmmm?

    Colin Cowherd put it best, “when your program has players with legal and personal issues off the feild you know you have a team that is ready to make a run at championship.” How’s DeShawn’s progress?

  • Bob

    So young, big problems. Very sad.

  • bigfatfan

    Colin Cowherd quotes, I love it.

  • Observantcat

    Well the good news is that 98% of the kids on the Monrovia squad are doing just fine. Grades, Work ethic, Commitment, trust in the coaching staff etc.. My only concern is that the ones who cant make the adjustments find some sort of help. As for the kids with problems outside of the team, Well we could easily make the argument that they could go elswhere and get a good starting position with schools who take the blind eye to all of these qualitys and just want touch downs. Maddoxx has been very diligent in his requirents to keep those off of his team that want to destroy the ethical aspect of student athlete. Several very gifted athletes have not been eligible to step foot on Monrovia’s football team because of the strict diciplinary measures that Maddox and staff have put into place. The great thing is that the staff and the school district is willing to give any of these kids an opportunity to turn themselves around and become part of a great program. Issues such as this one has to be looked at as foolish on behalf of this kids personal choices and should not be looked at as a whole team issue. Most of the kids on the team hold very high GPA’s and are motivated to gain a higher education outside of just playing football. In the words of ObservantCat “The Cats will be back in the hunt this season with stronger minds and bodies to try and recapture the CIF title. Good luck to every team and may we not have to see any of our athletes from anywhere go through these kinds of setbacks. Ps…De Shawn is doing just fine.

  • let down

    I have personally seen Derrick have very uncontrollable violent outbursts on the sidelines during games. Way beyond anything that should be tolerated by coaches and admin. This is very sad, but not a shock. Another case of wasted talent.

  • Uncle Pete

    “We wrote extensively on Derrick Johnson and the benefits of having such a bruising tackle. In fact, I featured before the season even started.

    Maybe Miguel should have done more research on Derrick Johnson the person and not Derrick Johnson the Athlete……

  • TheBestestSportsMom

    Derrick is a good loving kid. Most of you know the emotional,pationate & dedicated football Derrick, not the loving cuddly playful Derrick. He worked very hard this past year to get himself focused and to set and accomplish goals. He is more than just a football star he is a good person & had aspirations for his future. Some of you are presuming him guilty before trial or before any other facts come out. A lot of us love Derrick “Bubba” Johnson & those who know him know this is not his M.O. Those who know and love him will not walk away from him and will not let him down,that’s the problem it was all good when he was the big Football Star, now tunes want to change. Regardless we will be there for him & those who know and love him will as well. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He is being charged with the same thing the actual shooter (the 17yr old) is being charged with because he was there. Let everything play out before you judge him. We are not God. So who are we to judge.

  • bigfatfan

    Pete, what’s your point here. should Miguel have investigated Mr. Johnson’s darker side, should he have interviewed the school counselors or child psychologists before he wrote the story. Mr. Johnson got his moment of glory last August when Miguel did his spotlight on him in the Star News Blog. Mr. Johnson chose to jeapordize his talents and his future by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. dont bag on Miguel for that.

  • Anonymous

    Uncle Pete, Miguel’s primary job is to report on athletics. He isn’t here to do in depth investigations on the ethics of each athlete.

  • hit the weights

    The bottom line is the kid is a criminal. There is no place in society for kids like this (except behind bars). Nothing else matters. Not the fact that Miguel “only covers the negative side of the kid,” the kid did this to himself. Its not Miguels fault. Miguel just wrote about this because it happens to be in the area.

    P.S. What is the kid doin in Fontana if he goes to Monrovia??? Hmmmmm. Sounds pretty gang related.

  • Footbal Friend

    Dear “hit the weights”, I would like to respond to you and say that Derrick Johnson is not simply another criminal. I have known him for more than three years, and even spent some time playing with him on the same team. I have spent time with Derrick off and on the field, and while at times he loses his temper he has always been a fun loving happy guy and ive always enjoyed spending time with him. I do not think we should be slandering his name on this website, and talking about him as if he is some sort of drug dealer, he made a mistake, and it’s not entirely his fault either. What about the fact that these kids in high school have nothing better to do then to “be in the streets” because there is no guidance now a days, people do not care about the kids the same way they use to. While the boys and girls club, and the YMCA may still exist there is nothing really there to help support these kids between the ages of 14 and 18 or at least until they graduate from high school. When they can’t turn to their parents, or to teachers, or when the football season ends, or when school ends, what are these kids suppose to do? All I am trying to say is that Derrick is a good kid who got caught up with some bad people and made a mistake.


    For anyone with negative feedback, need to leave. i hate how when someones doing well people have no words, but when something bad happens unneccesarry people add there 2 cents. honestly if you dont know Derrick, you cant SPEAK on him ! hes like a big teddy bear ๐Ÿ™‚ he just got caught up in a bad situation, like many other people do…you NEGATIVE people need to not judge anyone you dont know and take a look in the mirror ! Because everyone isnt perfect and they never will be. im speaking for all of bubba’s friends, we love you and miss you !

  • tcchamps

    I really have to admit that your baseball coverage this year is just pathetic. Nothing posted to even spark a conversation. This story belongs as a jurisprudence footnote. Sad, but the kid is a thug, opportunist, lost soul, gun slinger, (He knew his buddy was packing heat). Quit blowing smoke up our intelligence and actually motivate the community in discussion, opinion and facts.

  • Not here to judge

    Not here to judge, and hope no one else is, but I haven’t heard any concern for the young man that got shot by your Big Teddy Bear and his friend!!??

    Yes, you might as well have shot him yourself if that’s the company you carry.

    I pray for Derrick cuz he seems like he does have a heart, but more for the kids that were victimized.

    Oh, BTW, if Miguel just reports on Sports and Athletes, then why did he post this and not Derricks ethics before…?? Bcuz this brings attention to his suffering BLOG ๐Ÿ™

  • Interested Observer

    How quick we are to praise These teams that win championships. And heap tons of accolades on them. Yet when you look at the bigger picture, it becomes very dark, and cloudy. Why not praise those teams that are making a difference in these young mens lives. Schools like San Gabriel, and others who work hard to get there student athletes to excell on the field and in the classroom. Many schools who were average during the year are way above average after the season. Helping to mold and shape a future for these young men. I can’t help but wonder, where were this young mans coaches during all this ? Did their influence stop after he helped them win a title ? Note to M-Town, It’s not just about winning on the field. It’s about winning in life. Maybe a little more attention paid to this young mans future would have saved him from self destruction.

  • Red Leader

    Interested observer. First of all, don’t put this on the coaches. They do a lot for these kids. Most of these coaches have other jobs and families of their own. I don’t expect them to watch and babysit my kid 24/7. As a father, that’s my job. So don’t put this on the coaches. Second, as extreme as this incident is, don’t for one second think this type of thing doesn’t happen at your school. Bad things happen at other schools, bad things happen everywhere. San Gabriel too, you just don’t hear about it because they’re not winning championships. If Monrovia wasn’t such a strong football program, nobody would have been talking about this. Winning programs are more scrutinized than mediocre programs. That’s a fact. Lastly, I used to live in San Gabriel, so don’t tell me that they care more about how my kids do in life than other schools(there are a few teachers that are an exception). They don’t. Just like every other public school, what matters most is that they graduate more than they fail so that the funding continues. Let’s not make this about good and evil, let’s just make it about what it really is.

    On a separate note. We all need to take accountability of our own kids. It’s the schools job to teach math, science, etc., but it’s my job as a parent to mold them into decent human beings. If I fail, I won’t blame the video games, the music they listen to, the movies they watch, or their school. If I fail, it’s solely on me.

  • amy

    i think that you shouldnt judge anybody everybody isnt perfect! those two boys dnt mean no harm at all! you people need to back upp and stop leaving NEGATIVE comments. get a life stop worring about other peoples life i personally knew both of those boys and they are good kids! THEY DNT NEED TO BE BEHIND BARS!

  • BIg Rich

    How can you mean no harm when a kid was shot twice? its not negitive its just facts, and theres a price to pay for commiting a crime.

  • Mtownclown

    whoo cares about this y is everyone making a big deal??? u do the crime and you do the time simple as that ! people are saying “hes a good kid ” but if it were their 2 sons that where being robbed at gun point by thugs they wouldnt think hes such a good kid. yes it is too bad for him but thats what he chose …now let him sitt in a prison cell for 5 years and think about life….nothing you people say on this blog can hide what these boys have done rather you say they are good kids or nott …they are still going too prison for some years…too badd soo sadd…

  • Sho Nuff

    Two innocent people were targeted and shot at because they refused to purchase illegal or illict drugs. He could be easliy facing a murder charge rather than attempted murder. Bubba, man up, there are No excuses and No alibis. Bubba has a strong personality and is far from being innocent. He could have easily had influence over a non-athletic, soft,wimpy, kid looking for acceptance. A kid (a marshmellow) who will do anything to gain some M-town street cred. All you Bubba lovers and supporters go deep in your pockets. He will need a good lawyer. A Public Defender may not be good enough. Especially if his crime partner(the soft wimpy kid) doesn’t man up and take the hit. Because of the severity of the crime, the soft, wimpy, kid will be more than likely tried in court as an adult. If Bubba he walks away unscathed by all of this I will be very surprised. The judicial system should hold him culpable and accountable.

  • Jonesy

    To the negative commentors:
    It seems as if everyone is forgetting, whether you know him or not… The man pleaded not guilty. For the most part that is the only truth here towards his verdict and some of the words people are using are basically saying he is at fault. There are still going to be trial dates, nothing has been proven. So you can’t criticize him yet and say he is a “Criminal” or “Belongs behind bars” because at this point if you weren’t there you have no clue what went on and until it is proven in court that he did wrong, that man is innocent just in a real screwed up situation. I hope for the best for him and his family and condolences to the victims and family. God Bless.

  • Sho Nuff

    Get real. People who are guilty plead not guilty all the time. They do it every day in court. Pleading not guilty allows you to fight your case in a court of law. He will have a fight on his hands. He didn’t walk into this situation blind. You are right we were not there.I am sure there were plenty of chances for him to step up and step away from this incident.

  • General Turgidson

    Unbelievable. I had to read some of these comments twice. Its pukes like Amy that make this world a sick place: the people who look at evil and violence in its face… and have the disgusting gall to tolerate it.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. Caught up in a bad situation???

    You people have the morals of a damn ground squirrel. When ANYONE does something like this… they need to face the consequences.

    Damn Panzies.


  • CoFootball12

    Lock him up and throw away the key, no place in society for this.

  • Chuck

    I am sure he still will have a spot at USC on the football team. After all, winning is far more important at USC then moral standards.

  • bishamatlance

    They got the wrong black guy! Lol If the glove don’t fit they must acquit. hahaha

  • Huckster!!!!!!

    @ the Amat fan, That $hit isn’t funny!!!! I’m hoping none of this is true.

  • UPDATE!!!!

    Where is the update on this story? I don’t agree that this had anything to do with football but since you started it, shouldn’t you follow up? I think that those people who jumped to conclusions should have the story straight!!!!!!!

  • edward

    nice info you got here.