GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A guilty plea came down just minutes before a jury trial was set to begin for a man convicted of blackmailing an Upstate veteran moments before his death.
John Dobbins is one of two prisoners now convicted of a sextortion blackmail scheme dating back to 2018.
The family of Jared Johns has been grieving his loss for almost four years. He died by suicide on September 11, 2018. His family said it happened just moments after he fell victim to a sextortion blackmail scheme.
“We believe these two inmates conversed with Jared via a dating app, sent images of scantily clad women and followed up with demands for money,” said Greenville Police during a 2019 press conference.
Greenville Police said during a press conference in 2019 that the scam started with two prisoners in the Lee Correctional Institution. One of them is the defendant in this trial, John Dobbins.
Officers said the two prisoners obtained contraband cell phones to text Johns pretending to be parents of a 17, soon to be an 18-year-old girl and threatening to go to the police, making Johns believe he committed a crime when he didn’t.
Johns’ parents told 7NEWS that he suffered from PTSD and these threats, were the tragic tipping point.
Dobbins was sentenced in a Greenville County courtroom Tuesday to 10 years behind bars with the last three, serving on parole.
The family of Johns told us this is a step closer to justice for their son, however it won’t bring him back.