MT. VERNON — A Mt. Vernon man has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first degree murder in Jefferson County Court on Wednesday.
18-year-old Roderick S. Oats, Jr., was charged in the July 8 shooting that killed 20-year-old Carlos Johnson. The shooting happened at about 4:30 p.m. near the 700 block of South 25th Street in Mt. Vernon.
Oats was arrested after the shooting later that evening in Benton and was transferred back to Mt. Vernon by the Benton Police Department after he was identified as a person of interest in the shooting.
Court reports indicate Oats appeared via video conferencing where his Public Defender, Scott Quinn, entered not guilty pleas on all charges and waived a formal arraignment. Oats faces a sentence of 25 years to natural life if he is convicted of the charges in Jefferson County. He is being held in the Jefferson County Justice Center on $3 million bond.
Oats is also facing charges in Marion County after a January shooting at a party in Salem. Oates was later apprehended at a Salem restaurant where a police search found Oates allegedly in possession of a stolen firearm.