Jury convicts man charged in connection with disappearance of Paige Johnson
BATAVIA, Ohio (FOX19) - A Clermont County jury has found a man who was charged in connection with the 2010 disappearance of Paige Johnson guilty of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Jacob Bumpass, 35, of Finneytown, was taken into custody Monday and Judge Kevin Miles remanded him without bond.
“We are pleased to have been able to bring some semblance of justice to the Johnson family,” said Assistant Prosecutor Clay Tharp.
Prosecutors say Bumpass was the last person to see the 17-year-old Johnson alive.
Her remains were found in March 2020 near East Fork State Park in Clermont County.
“The massive amount of time, work, and energy law enforcement officers from all three jurisdictions put into finding Paige over the last ten years paled in comparison to the emotional toll this investigation took on everyone involved. There was no stone left unturned, and ultimately, all of the hard work paid off”, according to Assistant Prosecutor Zachary Zipperer.
Prosecutors presented Bumpass’ cell phone records as a key piece of evidence during the trial.
They say those records placed Bumpass in Clermont County on the morning of Johnson’s disappearance on Sept. 23, 2010. According to the prosecution, his phone was used in Clermont County at 4:13 a.m. and 4:14 a.m.
Prosecutors told jurors Bumpass drove to Clermont County, somewhere near East Fork State Park, and he dumped Johnson’s body “with a complete disregard for the value of her life. He dumped her like she was nothing more than a bag of trash.”
There was no other reason for Bumpass to be in that area at that time, they said.
The defense countered by telling jurors that the phone records from 2010 are not as accurate as they would have been today because there is no precise GPS location.
The defense also said the limited amount of remains found doesn’t prove when the body was left in the woods.
The records also do not necessarily mean Bumpass was in the area to dump a body, the defense stressed to the jury.
The jury deliberated for three days before finding Bumpass guilty.
“While I could not be more proud of my assistants’ work on this case, unfortunately, no amount of prison time will truly hold Bumpass accountable for all of the pain and suffering that he has caused over the last 13 years”, noted Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Tekulve.
Judge Miles scheduled Bumpass’s sentencing for 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, 2023.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it.
Do you have a photo or video of a breaking news story? Send it to us here with a brief description.
Copyright 2023 WXIX. All rights reserved.