Man to serve 11 years for Woodlawn Ave. shooting, driver gets two.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Man to serve 11 years for Woodlawn Ave. shooting, driver gets two.

A drug-related dispute amongst crack abusers last September erupted into gunfire at 728 Woodlawn Ave last September. Today, the Columbus gunman Antonio Johnson, 49, accepted an 11-year sentence.

The house at 728 Woodlawn has been the center of numerous previous investigations, from engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, to bicycle theft and vandalism. Detective Chris Andrews with the Zanesville Police Department investigated the shooting and discovered that a dispute erupted between Alvin Draughn, the victim of the shooting, and Johnson.

The dispute had two causes; First, an argument over marijuana and second, jealousy and a dispute over a 22 year-old female. It is typical of the drug trade that young, desperate addicts are often preyed upon by older drug abusers who have more ready access to narcotics.

Detectives made use of nearby surveillance videos and the FLOCK camera system – provided to the city through a grant secured by the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office – to track down Johnson and his accomplice, Tamara Spraggins, 59, who drove Johnson both to and from the scene.

Spraggins also plead guilty Wednesday, earning two years in prison for her role in the offense. The investigation showed that Spraggins was also in a relationship with Johnson. She drove Johnson to the Woodlawn address without knowing of his dispute over the access to the young drug addict. After Johnson shot Draughn, Spraggins drove him from the scene and out of town.

Spraggins and Johnson were tracked via the FLOCK system as they shared a weekend in Nashville before returning, first to a trap house on Columbia Street, and then to Spraggins’ home on Baker Street, another address well-known to law enforcement. A “trap house” refers a house occupied by a third party that drug dealers use to sell drugs, and to insulate themselves from the drug sales. Detectives were waiting for them at both locations, alerted to their return by the same FLOCK system.

The investigation expanded beyond the shooting, and search warrants served at 207 Columbia Street yielded drugs, guns, and the arrest of James Urban. Urban had been permitting various drug dealers to sell narcotics from his home in exchange for narcotics. As a result of Urban’s arrest, the home at 207 Columbia was taken from him. Several neighbors have made a point of contacting the prosecutor’s office in appreciation that the nuisance has been removed.

APA John Litle handled the case and observed that, “At the end of the day, the outcome of a case in court depends on how strong that case will be in front of a jury. This case involved a lot of people I believed wouldn’t connect with, or even make sense to any jury. I’d have loved to see a longer sentence, but eleven years and the elimination of two crack houses is a solid outcome given the facts of this case.”

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Man to serve 11 years for Woodlawn Ave. shooting, driver gets two.