Johnson to step down as DA after current term - WSMV Channel 4

Johnson to step down as DA after current term

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Longtime district attorney Torry Johnson said he is ready for something new.

After serving Davidson County for 26 years, Johnson announced Wednesday that he would not run for re-election.

The work for Johnson isn't over by a longshot though.

On Thursday he had to address his office's most high-profile case of the moment, the alleged rape charges against four former Vanderbilt football players. He also announced who he hopes replaces him.

Johnson will leave his district attorney post when his term expires at the end of August.

"I don't look at this as a retirement, but rather as a redirection," said Johnson.

Many see Johnson as a strong candidate to become Nashville's next mayor.

"I'm not going to say I haven't had people talk to me, but that has nothing to do with it," said Johnson. "I have no plans as I stand here."

Johnson does have plans for the position he's vacating. He plans on supporting Rob McGuire, a 12-year veteran who has been marked as high-potential since the day he started.

"I am a career prosecutor. This is my calling in life," said McGuire. "To be able to be the district attorney is the fulfillment of one of the missions that I believe in."

A job that includes dealing with public demand for information on big stories.

On Thursday, it's the Vanderbilt rape case where the university determined Brandon Vandenburg did not actually rape his girlfriend.

"The Vanderbilt decision is in a different form, for a different reason with different rules," said Johnson. "I don't think it's got any bearing whatsoever."

In fact, no one has ever said Vandenburg raped his girlfriend. He is charged with rape as part of Tennessee's criminal responsibility statute. He is accused of being there, helping it happen. In Tennessee, that is a form of committing the crime.

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