Man charged in I-80 shootout denied public defender

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Charles Johnston

The psychology professor accused of firing shots at motorists along Interstate 80 earlier this month has been denied a public defender.  

The Davenport Public Defender’s Office has been given permission to withdraw from the Charles Johnston case and a substitute counsel has been appointed for now.  

In the initial paperwork completed by Johnston following his arrest on January 11 and obtained by Local 4 News, Johnston reported his income to be $125,000 dollars a year.  

But Johnston noted that he was uncertain if that income would continue. Johnston was arrested after gunfire was exchanged with two Iowa State Patrol officers at the Atalissa Pilot truck stop.

This happened after several motorists reported having their windshields shot out while driving along I-80.  

Bond has yet to be set for Johnston, who lives in Belvidere and was listed as an associate professor in the psychology department at Harper College in Palatine.  

In a statement from the college given to Local 4 News, Johnston was banned from campus as soon as the college was made aware of his arrest. 

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