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Johnston being moved to UMC in Jackson

[12/28/01]Juanita “Nita” Johnston, in the critical care unit of ParkView Regional Medical Center since Dec. 6, will be moved to University Medical Center in Jackson today, a ParkView spokesman said.

The retired Warren County Court reporter was found injured on Hinds County land owned by a Vicksburg judge. Family members have said they believe she was beaten, but no arrests have been made in the case.

They said it appeared Johnston had been beaten in the lower abdomen and back and that she may not be able to walk again.

In the latest development, Diane Gawronski, ParkView’s director of marketing and public relations, said today Johnston is being transferred to UMC for further, unspecified evaluation. Her condition was reported as stable as it has been for nearly three weeks.

Warren County Judge Gerald Hosemann, 49, who also serves as youth court judge, owns the land where Johnston was found, and Hinds County authorities said he has been cooperative in their investigation. Johnston was apparently dressed in clean clothes after the attack, propped against a tree and left.

Hinds authorities say they are waiting medical clearance before interviewing Johnston to determine if

charges will be filed and against whom. A private security guard has stood vigil at the entrance to ParkView’s CCU.

Johnston, 47, had not been seen by members of her family for two days before she was found at about 5 a.m. Dec. 6 by Hosemann and Billy Leist, a local plumber and rancher.

On Sunday night, about 55 friends and family members gathered outside ParkView for a candlelight vigil. She was able to see the gathering from a hospital window.