Jailed hippie turns whiny

The ex-hippie accused of gunning for a Staten Island commune leader is playing the victim – whining that she shouldn’t be locked up.

“I’m a babe in the woods,” Rebekah Johnson told the Daily News yesterday in an exclusive interview at Rikers Island.

“I can’t defend myself in here.”

Johnson spent a year on the lam after allegedly trying to kill Jeffrey Gross, guru of the free-love Ganas commune, which booted her in the early 1990s.

She was nabbed in Philadelphia last month, extradited to New York and arraigned Friday on second-degree attempted murder charges.

Wearing a gray prison jumpsuit and brown glasses, the 44-year-old had the demeanor of an injured animal as she complained about press coverage of the case.

“I don’t like what’s going on in the media,” she said. “I feel like the police are feeding me to the media.”

And she fretted that her fate will be sealed if she can’t get out of Rikers, saying, “I can’t prepare my defense from jail.”

Although detectives say they believe Johnson intended to take another shot at Gross with an AK-47 she bought on the run, she grew angry and glared across a table when asked about it.

“How could the police know my intentions?” she growled. “How could they know how I feel?”

When asked whether she shot Gross, Johnson said, “It’s too soon to talk about these things.”

She struggled to compose herself and appeared to suppress her fury.

“I have to talk to my attorney,” she said, abruptly ending the interview.

Johnson faces 25 years in prison if convicted of shooting Gross.

As The News reported yesterday, prosecutors are also exploring charges against her blue-blooded mom and sister for financing her year as a fugitive with cash wired through Western Union.

Johnson hit the road after ambushing Gross in May 2006 outside the New Brighton commune, shooting him in the arm, neck and chest, authorities said.

He was hospitalized in critical condition for weeks and went into hiding when Johnson disappeared.

Cops got a break in the case when the flower-power pistolera used her real name to purchase a van on Craig’s List.

The woman who sold the vehicle to her gave cops Johnson’s Philly address, and cops who went to the shabby $400-dollar-a-month apartment observed a “banana style” ammo magazine on the floor through a window, a police report shows.

They obtained a search warrant and found the AK-47 assault rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, court documents show.

Cops said they found shooting targets imprinted with human silhouettes, and one of them had been shot 28 times.

Books included “Cults in Our Midst,” “Sexual Harassment on the Job” and Coleman’s Surplus Magazine, a firearms publication, court documents show.

They also found more than a dozen license plates from New York, Virginia and New Jersey. Cops also confiscated computer equipment and prescription drug bottles.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday July 9, 2007.
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