Lawyer To Plead Guilty in Waco Case

Associated Press/February 6, 2001

Waco, Texas -- Former prosecutor Bill Johnston says he will plead guilty to obstructing an investigation into the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco. In return, prosecutors will recommend probation, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday. If the plea bargain is accepted, Johnston said he could be placed on probation for up to three years. "They are agreeing to dismiss the entire indictment against me and I am agreeing that I should have informed them that I didn't turn over my notes," Johnston said.

The charges stem from his withholding of several pages of pretrial notes from the 1994 federal prosecution of surviving Branch Davidians. Johnson has admitted withholding information dealing with the FBI's use of pyrotechnic gas on April 19, 1993, the final day of a 51-day standoff that ended with the death of Davidian leader David Koresh and some 80 followers perished.

Johnston told the newspaper he was improperly singled out for prosecution but couldn't afford to fight the charges. "I am out of money, and I have to try to salvage some way to make a living because I am so far in debt from all of this," Johnston said.

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