Man convicted of biting off end of Tennessee officer's thumb

Published 02-01-2019

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Bloods gang member who claims to be a "sovereign citizen" has been convicted of biting off the end of a Tennessee police officer's thumb.

On Friday, Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen announced that a jury convicted 30-year-old Alexander Ray Johnson of aggravated assault, punishable by three to six years in prison, and two assault counts.

Prosecutors say a Knoxville officer stopped Johnson in June 2017 for speeding and for having a fake license plate that claimed a right to travel as a "Sovereign Hebrew Israelite." Sovereign citizens deny the legitimacy of government authority.

Prosecutors say Johnson wouldn't get out or provide his license, and argued whether speeding was a crime.

They say Johnson fought officers while they tried taking him into custody and bit backup officer Trey Lane's thumb.

Prosecutors will request the maximum sentence.

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