Centralia man waives right to trial by jury in case charging him with a half-dozen felonies

Centralia man waives right to trial by jury in case charging him with a half-dozen felonies

PERRY/WASHINGTON COUNTIES — A 42-year-old Centralia man accused of shooting at police last summer has waived his right to a trial by jury and instead agreed to have a judge hear his case, which delayed what would have been a Monday trial for six months.

Nathan Johnson was scheduled for a final pretrial hearing or a change of plea hearing Friday. He instead requested a bench trial rather than a jury trial, which resulted in Monday’s jury trial being vacated and a bench trial scheduled for February 18.

Johnson is accused of taking police in Du Quoin on a pursuit through Perry County and into Washington County last August where he reportedly fired multiple shots at officers during the chase.

The pursuit ended at Johnson’s rural Centralia home on Irvington Road where he reportedly continued firing at police during an hours-long standoff, ultimately striking a Centralia officer’s squad car.

Johnson is charged with a half-dozen Class X felony charges in Washington and Perry counties Each Class X charge is punishable by between 20 and 60 years in prison if convicted and Johnson is extended term eligible.

He’s being held in jail on a combined $6 million bail — $1 million in Washington County and $5 million in Perry County.

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