Judge rejects bail for shooting defendant

Douglas Johnston

WOODSTOCK – A man charged in a Sept. 12 shooting that wounded another man lost an attempt Friday in Shenandoah County General District Court to gain release from jail on bond.

The defendant, Douglas Brantley Johnston, 57, of 265 Hickory Lane, Woodstock, was returned to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail to await his next court appearance at a preliminary hearing scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Oct. 14.

“I’m going to continue to hold you at this point,” Judge Amy Tisinger told Johnston.

Tisinger said she believed Johnston could be counted on to appear in court if he was released from jail, but she worried about a possible danger he presented to himself and others. She said she was especially concerned about what she considered his need for treatment of mental health and substance abuse problems.

“I do think you’re in a pretty fragile condition right now,” Tisinger told Johnston.

Johnston is charged with causing bodily injury by reckless use of a gun; firing a gun in an occupied building; and brandishing a gun.

Authorities accuse Johnston of shooting Hoyt Morrison, 68, in the heel with a .38 caliber revolver at the Hickory Lane residence the two men shared. Morrison was shot as he tried to seize the gun from Johnston in an effort to stop him from harming himself, a criminal complaint says.

The complaint also says that Johnston smelled heavily of alcohol and was threatening to commit suicide at the time of the shooting.

The complaint describes Johnston as appearing “highly intoxicated due to slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and being very unsteady on his feet.”

Johnston told a deputy who arrived after the shooting “that he wanted to die” and asked the deputy to “just put a bullet in me,” the complaint says.

The complaint also accuses Johnston of pointing the gun at another person, Catherine Colgan, 57, after shooting Morrison. Authorities say Colgan, also of 265 Hickory Lane, managed to seize the gun from Johnston with no further harm to anyone.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com.