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Gunman Convicted of Robbing Homeowner, Killing Dog

May 1, 2017

Contact: Christopher W. Rees, 215.348.6341, cwrees@buckscounty.org

Montel Johnson Cash
     Montel Johnson                           Cash

A Philadelphia man who fatally shot a Bristol Township man's dog while robbing his home was convicted of several serious crimes this afternoon by a Bucks County jury.  

The jury found Montel J. Johnson, 23, guilty of robbery, attempted burglary, conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, recklessly endangering another person and cruelty to animals in the early-morning incident last spring in the Golden Ridge section of Bristol Township.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15 by Common Pleas Court Judge Diane E. Gibbons, who presided over the five-day trial. 

The homeowner, Robert Ferry, testified that he was awakened three times early on April 18, 2016, by the whining and barking of Cash, his 1-year-old Cane Corso dog. At 4:30 a.m., when Ferry got out of bed to investigate, he saw a woman peering through one of his windows and noticed that his motorcycle had been moved from his carport.

As Ferry stepped outside, Johnson emerged from behind a parked Cadillac, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. Ferry backed toward the house, fearing for the safety of his girlfriend and her 7-year-old daughter inside. As he grabbed the door handle and attempted to step back inside, Cash rushed past him.

Johnson fired three times, one of the bullets fatally striking Cash. The dog died of blood loss and suffocation in its owner's arms.

"I tried to comfort him and said he was a good boy," Ferry testified.

Johnson fled and was apprehended two months later by Pennsylvania State Parole agents and members the U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force inside a Philadelphia doughnut shop.

Two accomplices, Matthew Lily and Brittany Dorio, have pleaded guilty to related charges and testified against Johnson. Ferry identified Johnson as his assailant, police recovered three bullet casings at the scene, and Johnson's DNA was recovered from the handlebars of the homeowner's motorcycle. Police also found one of Johnson's fingerprints at the scene.

Johnson, who had a previous robbery conviction in 2012, faces a second trial for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. The charge was severed from the main case against him so that the jury would not be prejudiced by hearing about Johnson's criminal record. No date has been set for that trial.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Christopher W. Rees and investigated by Bristol Township Police Detectives Michael Slaughter and Robert Lebo.

Approved for release by Thomas C. Gannon, Deputy District Attorney.

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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