New Madrid man sentenced to 35 years for homicide, 5 assault cha - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New Madrid man sentenced to 35 years for homicide, 5 assault charges

Joseph Thornton (Source: Sikeston DPS) Joseph Thornton (Source: Sikeston DPS)
NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) -

A New Madrid man was found guilty of homicide and five other first degree assaults.

Joseph Thornton, 27, was sentenced on Friday, Dec. 12 in a Scott County court.

He received a total of 20 years: 20 years for the death of Jeremie Johnson and 15 years to run concurrent for the other five first degree assaults, stemming from the intentional homicide/assault with a motor vehicle.

According to Captain J. McMillen with Sikeston DPS, on April 28, 2013 around 5:17 p.m., officers responded to Southwest Street in reference to several people hit by a vehicle.

He said it was determined the vehicle was driven by then 25-year-old Joseph Thornton.

According to DPS, Thornton was at a barbecue at his cousin's house on Southwest Street. He began to argue with someone outside the home, so the homeowner told him to leave.

Officers say Thornton then got into his vehicle, but instead of leaving, he tried to hit the homeowner with his vehicle.

They say Thornton then drove his car toward the intended person, but missed him.

DPS said he hit several other people standing around the front yard of the home before coming to a rest on top of 33-year-old Jeremie Johnson, who was seated in a chair under the carport area.

Johnson was taken to an area hospital by ambulance and later died from his injuries.

Other victims hit by the car were taken to various hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, two of which were children.

A 4-year-old girl suffered a broken jaw and burns to her face and legs from the vehicle. She is still recovering from her injuries

Thornton will have to serve approximately 30 years before he is eligible for parole and release from the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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