Duluth teen pleads guilty to Lakewalk robbery

A teenage girl on Monday admitted to taking part in an incident this spring in which a University of Minnesota Duluth student was beaten unconscious on the Lakewalk.

Walfrid David Ashlie "Dash" Johnson
Walfrid David Ashlie "Dash" Johnson, seen here in 2006, was robbed, beaten and left unconscious along Duluth's Lakewalk early on the morning of May 20. Johnson's family is pleading for help in finding his assailants. (Submitted photo)

A teenage girl on Monday admitted to taking part in an incident this spring in which a University of Minnesota Duluth student was beaten unconscious on the Lakewalk.

Julie Ann Isham, who turned 18 on June 20, about a month after the crime was committed, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery in the May robbery and beating of Walfrid David Ashlie "Dash''

Johnson. She gave up her right to be considered for juvenile sanctions and agreed to serve nearly seven years in prison.

Three other juveniles also are accused of taking part in the beating and



Johnson, 21, of Arden Hills, Minn., was beaten unconscious and robbed of his wallet and cell phone while walking alone on the Lakewalk between the Fitger's Brewery Complex and Leif Erikson Park about

12:47 a.m. on May 20. He suffered traumatic brain injuries in the attack.

Isham said she didn't take part in the beating, but she started the confrontation when she stopped the victim on the Lakewalk and asked him for a cigarette. She said when Johnson told her he didn't smoke, her three juvenile accomplices jumped him. Johnson was knocked to the ground and repeatedly kicked in the head. Isham said she rolled the victim over and took a wallet or cell phone out of his pocket.

In a separate incident, Isham also pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct for hitting a teenage girl in the head and face and using a shampoo bottle to sexually penetrate her while she was drunk and incapacitated. The assault happened during a party at Isham's apartment three days after the Lakewalk beating.

Isham agreed to serve a nearly seven-year prison sentence under the terms of a plea agreement she and her privately retained defense counsel, Stephen Zuber, reached with the St. Louis County Attorney's Office.

St. Louis County prosecutor Angie Shambour told Judge John DeSanto that the families of the crime victims and law enforcement agreed with the plea deal.

Ruth Johnson, Dash's mother, said Monday evening her son wasn't available for comment.

"He is making a nice recovery,'' she said, but declined to elaborate.


She said her family is satisfied with the way the Isham case was handled.

"First of all, I think it's appropriate that Ms. Isham be tried as an adult,'' Ruth Johnson said. "I'm pleased that she pled guilty. Certainly, the sentence is within the guidelines described to us."

DeSanto ordered that an Arrowhead Regional Corrections probation officer conduct an investigation of Isham's background and that she undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation before sentencing, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 20.

Isham's mother kissed her after the hearing and was crying when she left the courtroom. The court ordered that Isham be transferred from the Arrowhead Juvenile Center to the St. Louis County Jail, where she is being held on $250,000 bail.

One of Isham's accomplices, Markus Lee St. Clair, 16, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in July in a juvenile delinquency petition. The county attorney's office is attempting to have another accused accomplice, Myron Clark, 17, certified to stand trial as an adult on charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and first-degree aggravated robbery. A 14-year-old boy also is charged in connection with the assault in juvenile court.

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