Giovanni#039;s gunman arraigned

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 21, 2003

A South Point teenager who will be tried as an adult in connection with two restaurant robberies was arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Johnathan Hudnall Jr., 17, entered a plea of not guilty. Hudnall was indicted earlier this month by a Lawrence County grand jury on two counts of aggravated robbery. He is accused of being the gunman who held up Judy's Giovanni's Aug. 26, and the Giovanni's in Aid two days later.

Two adults who were allegedly with him at the time of the robberies were indicted last month: Jason D. Ackerson, 23, of South Point, and Robert Erwin, 24, of Ironton, are each charged with two counts of complicity to aggravated robbery. Both men are incarcerated elsewhere in connection with other crimes.

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Hudnall's father, Johnathan Hudnall Sr., said he does not agree with the state law that allows his son to be tried as an adult in the case.

"I just don't believe a juvenile should be tried as an adult," Hudnall said. "A kid is a kid. That's why they're called juveniles."

If convicted on both charges, Hudnall Jr. could get 10-year sentences on each of the two counts, plus two, three-year stints for using a gun, a total of 26 years.