Joyce Clark

Joyce Clark swears to tell the truth before entering her guilty plea Wednesday in connection with a 2018 slaying in Greenwood. Clark was charged with trying to help Justin Johnson, her son and the alleged gunman, evade capture. In the background is Leflore County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Carey-McCray.

The mother of a Greenwood man charged with a 2018 murder has received a 20-year sentence for trying to help him evade arrest.

On Wednesday, Joyce Clark pleaded guilty to one count of being an accessory after the fact in connection with the case. Leflore County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Carey-McCray gave Clark a 20-year prison sentence, but suspended 14 of those years on the condition that Clark, following her release from prison, successfully completes five years of supervised probation with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Clark also was ordered to pay almost $3,000 in fines and fees.

Clark was accused of assisting her son, Justin Johnson, after he allegedly shot to death 48-year-old Bryant Keith Ramsey in February 2018.

Johnson, who was 19 years old at the time of the shooting, is awaiting a mental evaluation to determine whether he is competent to stand trial on a charge of first degree murder. Johnson’s girlfriend, Mikayla Pitts, was also charged with being an accessory after the fact. A trial for Pitts, scheduled to be held this week, has been postponed until later this year.

Clark was accused of helping to transport Johnson across the Leflore County line “in order to enable him to avoid arrest,” Amanda Langford, an assistant district attorney, read in court Wednesday. Clark had no prior felony convictions.

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.

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