Three of the men accused of robbing and violently beating openly gay pastor Josh Noblitt and his friend in Piedmont Park more than a year ago expressed remorse on Tuesday in Fulton Superior Court as they pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
Jarvis Johnson, 21; Sam Johnson, 19; and Benjamin Johnson, 17, admitted their guilt in the attack on Noblitt and his friend, Trent Williams, on July 2, 2010, as the two were enjoying an evening picnic. The three were part of a group of six young men — the youngest was 13 at the time of the crime — arrested in the attack. According to police reports and Noblitt, three of the suspects walked up to them and asked, “Are y’all gay? Two men laying on a blanket. We ought to beat y’all for that.”
The three youths walked off and returned later with a stick and got into a fight with Noblitt and Williams. During the fight, Noblitt called police from his cell phone. At the same time one of the three youths called for reinforcements. Several more teens showed up on the scene and one pulled a gun on Noblitt, held it to his head, and demanded their money.