Reality TV biker 'Sandman' pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

Robert Johnston accused of stabbing man

EL CAJON, Calif. - A reality TV star known as "Sandman" was in a court room in El Cajon Thursday, facing serious charges.

Sandman's real name is Robert Johnston.  He's a member of the Laffing Devils motorcycle club, which is featured on the Discovery Channel's "The Devil's Ride."

However, what happened Dec. 22 was not part of the script.

According to Deputy District Attorney John Pro, Johnston walked in on his wife Melissa and another man in the bedroom of the couple's Alpine home sparking a confrontation.  Johnston is accused of using a machete to stab the man twice, injuring him so badly that he almost "bled out."

According to court documents, Melissa Johnston hid in a closet during the fracas.

In court Thursday, Johnston pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and making a criminal threat.  If convicted of the charges, he could get 12 years in prison.

 Johnston brought his 6-year old son to court with him, and as they left the courthouse, 10News reporter Allison Ash asked him a few questions.

"Did you try to kill this guy?" she asked. 

"I can't talk about the case," Johnston replied.

 "I mean a machete?  That's pretty serious," asked Ash.

 "Is that what you heard?" said Johnston.

"That’s what I heard," she said.

"I've heard a lot of stories," Johnson replied.

Based on his replies, Ash then asked why anyone make up stories about him, and Johnson said, "I don’t know."

Johnston said he was taking the advice of his attorney and "pushing forward," adding that in this country you're still innocent until proven guilty.

Johnston, who did not ride his motorcycle to court, was ordered to stay at least 100 feet away from his alleged victim, Joshua Adkins, who is not a member of a motorcycle club.  He also has a stay-away order from his wife, Melissa Johnston, who requested a temporary restraining order in January.

Court documents obtained by 10News show Melissa Johnston wrote that she "suffered severe emotional distress," during her husband’s attack on her friend.  She writes that in May 2012, her husband pointed a gun at her head.  On Christmas Eve, 2012 she claimed, "When I woke up in the morning while Robert was still on the run there was a dead cat strategically placed in my tree."

Melissa Johnston also claimed in her report that, "Robert spoke to myself on the phone.  He stated, 'Things are going to get real hard for you real quick and there ain't going to be any sympathy from me.'" 

According to court documents, Melissa Johnston also claims her husband threatened a friend saying, "If you drop my name I will come back to kill you."

Johnston returns to court this summer to stand trial.

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