Atascadero serial stalker sentenced to prison

January 29, 2020

Josiah James Johnstone


A SLO County judge on Tuesday sentenced an Atascadero man who stalked, harassed and threatened multiple women to four years and eight months in prison. [KSBY]

Josiah James Johnstone, 34, initially pleaded guilty to charges of stalking and criminal threats. Last summer, Johnstone was out on bond and did not show up for his sentencing hearing, prompting a judge to issue a warrant.

On July 31, the SLO County Sheriff’s Office named Johnstone its Most Wanted Wednesday suspect. Then in September, bounty hunter Richard Dunbar caught Johnstone in Nevada.

Dunbar said Johnstone threatened him after initially indicating he was going to surrender himself.

Last year, a group of Johnstone’s victims regularly attended his hearings.

One victim said Johnstone threatened to burn down her house with her mother inside if she decided to break up with him. Another woman said Johnstone targeted women and manipulated them for a place to stay, sex, money and their sympathies.

Johnstone is currently in custody in SLO County Jail, according to the county sheriff’s office website.