Huntley Johnson is a wizard, ctd.

Via Andy Staples

But I got a chance to study the phenomenon up close while covering Florida as a beat writer for The Tampa Tribune from 2004-07. As the OTL piece pointed out, Gators in trouble—and there were a lot in those years—tend to turn to an attorney named Huntley Johnson.

We beat writers used to joke that if Johnson didn’t represent a player who got arrested, it meant that player was probably already kicked off the team. That wasn’t true all the time, but Johnson almost always seemed to get retained when a player got sideways with the law. Johnson rarely talks to the press about cases, typically letting the plea deals he negotiates do the talking for him. I tried to interview him in 2007 after former (and future) Florida lineman Ronnie Wilson pleaded no contest to battery and discharging a firearm in public. Wilson had hit a man and spit on him, and after realizing the man was following him to give Wilson’s information to a 911 dispatcher, Wilson switched to a vehicle that had an AK-47 in the trunk. Later, he would pull that AK-47 and fire it in the air to scare the man he had hit and spit on. The man said in court that Wilson pointed the gun at him before firing into the air. Thanks to Johnson, Wilson served no jail time beyond the brief period between his arrest and his posting bail. He got two years of probation. I asked Johnson after the change of plea hearing if he’d talk about the case. “What do you think I’m going to say?” Johnson asked. My reply was something to the effect of, “Your client pulled an AK-47 on a guy and won’t spend a day in jail, so I’m guessing not much, but I’m going to ask anyway.” Johnson smiled. “You’re pretty smart,” he said. End of interview.

A good magician never reveals his secrets, you know.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators Gators

15 responses to “Huntley Johnson is a wizard, ctd.

  1. DC Weez

    I rise to gadulate Huntley Johnson.


  2. The rails, they are greased.


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Wonder how Huntley woulda dealt with improper scooter scooting or Mudcat’s mighty fine Impala. I wonder if there is truth to the rumors Huntley was offered a free condo in Columbus.


    • Will (The Other One)

      Could he make even the dreaded “emerging from an alleyway” charge disappear? If you think so, text “TIME TO DIE” to Chris Rainey’s cell phone.


    • Cousin Eddie

      APD would have him arrested with obstruction of justice. Players cutting deals and walking, please APD ain’t having that.


  4. Uglydawg

    Disgusting. But not nearly on the level of selling one’s jersey.


  5. Dog in Fla

    And don’t forget the Percy Harvey of States’ Attorneys, Wm. P. Cervone, State Attorney, Eight Judicial Circuit,

    Seeking Justice Through Prosecution* 🙂

    “Those who believe Cervone is soft on Florida athletes often point to facts he does not hide. He has been a Florida football season-ticket holder since 1977, is a season-ticket holder for men’s basketball and is a member of the Gainesville Quarterback Club. He also is an adjunct professor at UF’s law school, where he taught trial tactics for nearly 20 years.

    ‘Yes, I get a paycheck from them [Florida],’ Cervone said. ‘But if anyone thinks that I’m going to sell out on any case and my whole professional career for some athlete, or any student, or anything else, they’re just wrong.’

    There is a bookcase in Cervone’s office featuring Gators memorabilia. On one shelf, near a set of orange-and-blue Beanie Babies, are an autographed Ron Zook football and an autographed Billy Donovan basketball.

    ‘In no way has anyone at the university tried to interfere with or tried to influence any of the investigations we’ve had,’ Cervone said. ‘My relationship with [Athletic Director] Jeremy Foley is very good, and all Jeremy has ever asked is to just tell us what’s going on so that they don’t get caught unaware. So that’s what we do.’


  6. Muttley

    Aaron Hernandez would never have made the big time without the expert counsel and assistance of Huntley Johnston.


  7. Mayor

    More power to Huntley Johnson. I know who I’ll have on speed dial if I ever am arrested in Gainesville, FL.


  8. Bulldog Joe

    If Urban didn’t name Mr. Johnson the MVP of those championship teams, at least I hope he got the rings.


  9. WF dawg

    Johnson may be a wizard, but methinks there’s a whole system enabling him to do his tricks.