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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

[CA] Guilty of murdering Marcus Lemons: Officer Tomieka Johnson's story didn't match the evidence.

Marcus Lavar Lemons, killed February 21, 2009.

California Highway Patrol Officer Tomiekia Johnson is the first law enforcement officer to be convicted of 1st degree murder in Los Angeles County.

...She said she started running away from the car and then stopped, worrying that he might get a gun out of her purse and shoot her. "I saw the gun on the ground. I made the decision to go run and get it," Johnson said, adding her husband seemed to be looking for the weapon. "I was scared. I didn't want to die ... When I grabbed it tight, it fired"...

..."The victim sustained what appeared to be a contact wound to the right side of his forehead," [Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Detective Louis Aguilera] said. "It showed that he was actually seated in the vehicle at the time he was shot"...

...Paramedics were summoned to the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles when Tomiekia Johnson, 32, crumpled in the courtroom after a clerk read the jury's verdict...

VIDEO: KTLA ELIZABETH ESPINOSA'S REPORT:
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Detective Louis Aguilera interviewed Officer Johnson the night it happened. He interviewed the witnesses too and they described Marcus Lemons and Tomiekia Johnson exactly, except the witnesses said that Marcus  had on a baseball cap. Detective Aguilera: "The baseball hat was later recovered by detectives and it showed that there was a bullet hole on top of the bill of the cap, which shows she was actually standing over him. He's six feet tall and she's only about five foot four, five foot five... In this two year investigation we interviewed over a hundred people. We talked to people about her past, we talked to people about his past, and we couldn't find one person that said, hey, this victim is a bad guy."

PREVIOUS POSTS:

  • [CA] Unnamed Chp Officer (Johnson) shot & killed her husband Marcus Lavar Lemons - One homicide detective working the case said the off-duty officer shot her husband near Central Avenue and the 91 Freeway before driving into the residential area and calling authorities... Darian Milow, the man's former fiancee, questioned Lemons' aggressiveness. "We were together for [10] years, and he's never touched me in any way; so for them to portray him as this monster is unbelievable"...
  • [CA] [$$$] CHP Officer Tomiekia Johnson who killed her husband was not held accountable for ditching anger-management? - ...The California Highway Patrol officer [Tomiekia Johnson] charged last week with killing her husband [Marcus Lemons] is being sued by his teenage stepson, who alleged that she had earlier been assigned to anger-management classes... [Attorney Leon] Gilbert alleges that Johnson was ordered to take anger-management classes but did not attend. The suit says no action was taken by the CHP... Law enforcement sources told The Times that Johnson was outside the car when she fired the shot...

EXCERPTS FROM THE NEWS ON TRIAL AND CONVICTION, CHRONOLOGICALLY:

TRIAL BEGINS IN FORMER CHP OFFICER'S SLAYING OF HUSBAND: At Tomiekia Johnson's murder trial, the prosecution says the 2009 killing on the side of a road in Compton was intentional. The defense says it was self-defense.
Los Angeles Times
By Rosanna Xia
January 11, 2012
[Excerpts] No one disputes that former California Highway Patrol Officer Tomiekia Johnson had a tumultuous relationship with her husband. What's in question is whether she fatally shot him in the head two years ago by accident or in cold blood. On the opening day of trial Tuesday for Johnson, 32, who is charged with murder in the death of her husband, Marcus Lemons, attorneys presented jurors two differing versions of what happened on the side of a road in Compton the night of Feb. 21, 2009... In her opening statement, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian led the jury through a 40-minute outline of the case, focusing on forensic evidence - vomit and blood patterns, gunshot residue - that prosecutors said would prove that Johnson fired an intentional contact shot. Prosecutors also noted that Johnson had received extensive weapons training as a CHP officer... For more than a year, sheriff's investigators reconstructed the events that led to Lemons' death. Johnson, who had worked for the CHP since 2002, was placed in an administrative position after the killing. She was arrested in January 2011 but has been free on $2-million bail... [Defense attorney Darryl] Stallworth said Johnson wanted to get off the freeway the night of the shooting because Lemons was starting to "choke her out." Johnson told her husband to get out of the car and walk home, Stallworth said. A fight ensued, then Lemons took Johnson's purse and pulled out the gun, the attorney told the jury. The couple struggled over the weapon and when Johnson was finally able to pick it up off the ground, Stallworth said, "the gun went off"... [Full article here]

CHP OFFICER TESTIFIES IN TRIAL: 'I WAS NOT TRYING TO KILL MARCUS'
Los Angeles Times
January 13, 2012
[Excerpts] California Highway Patrol officer Tomiekia Johnson, charged with murdering her husband more than two years ago, tearfully testified Friday that she and Marcus Lemons were struggling over her gun when it accidentally went off. “I was not trying to kill Marcus. I would never try to hurt him,” she said in court, weeping. “He always hit me”... Forensic evidence and testimonies from crime-scene experts show that Johnson fired an intentional contact shot, prosecutors said... [Full article here]

FORMER CHP OFFICER ACCUSED IN HUSBAND'S DEATH REENACTS STRUGGLE FOR GUN: Tomiekia Johnson testifies that the shooting occurred during an argument at the side of the road on the way home from a restaurant.
Los Angeles Times
By Rosanna Xia
January 14, 2012
[Excerpts] ...During Johnson's testimony, her attorney, Darryl A. Stallworth, asked [former California Highway Patrol Officer Tomiekia Johnson] to step down from the witness stand and reenact the scene. Stallworth sat in a chair, playing the role of Lemons in the passenger seat. Johnson positioned herself where she was standing that night, fighting for the gun on the ground. Both hands gripping tightly to the edges of her gray suit blazer while Stallworth explained the scene, Johnson told the jury: "I just got down, picked up the gun, came up really fast — holding it tight because I thought he was going to take it from me. "And it just fired," she said through tears. She said she didn't feel the gun go off, that she didn't even know she had shot him at first. "I saw his body, just like he was having a seizure, and then he threw up," she said, sobbing. "I couldn't believe it. I just stood there frozen for a second. I couldn't think"... She began to cry when Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian started reading back journal entries Johnson had written after her husband's death, entries that were shared with a post-traumatic stress therapist Johnson was seeing. Prosecutors noted inconsistencies in what Johnson wrote and her testimony... [Full article here]

CHP OFFICER CONVICTED OF KILLING HUSBAND, COLLAPSES IN COURT: Tomiekia Johnson, 31, convicted of shooting her husband while off-duty
VIDEO: Watch Elizabeth Espinosa's Report
KTLA News
January 23, 2012
[Excerpts] A jury convicted a former California Highway Patrol officer Monday of shooting and killing her husband Marcus Lemons three years ago in Compton. Tomekia Johnson collapsed in court when the verdict was read... Paramedics took her from the courtroom on a stretcher. Authorities have not disclosed her current medical condition... Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide detective Louis Aguilera worked as lead investigator on the case. He interviewed Johnson the night of the fatal shooting. "The victim sustained what appeared to be a contact wound to the right side of his forehead," he said. "It showed that he was actually seated in the vehicle at the time he was shot." Johnson told investigators Lemons became verbally and physically abusive and that she shot him in self-defense... Johnson and Lemmons had a 4-year-old daughter and a teenage son from a previous relationship... [Full article here]

CALIFORNIA PATROL OFFICER COLLAPSES AFTER FOUND GUILTY OF MURDERING HUSBAND
ABC News
By Lauren Effron
Jan. 23, 2012
[Excerpts] A former California Highway Patrol officer [Tomiekia Johnson] collapsed onto the floor just moments after being found guilty of murdering her husband [Marcus Lemons] three years ago near a freeway off-ramp... For several moments, no one in the court moved and Judge Robert Perry seemed unfazed by Johnson's actions as the court clerk continued to read the verdict... Prosecutors argued that Johnson intentionally shot her husband in Feb. 21, 2009, then drove to her parents' home in Compton with Lemons' body in the passenger seat. She called police, telling them she had shot her husband in self-defense when an argument between them became heated... [Full article here]

EX-CHP OFFICER COLLAPSES AFTER GUILTY VERDICT
myfoxla.com
Monday, 23 Jan 2012
[Excerpts] ...Paramedics were summoned to the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles when Tomiekia Johnson, 32, crumpled in the courtroom after a clerk read the jury's verdict... Johnson - who was off-duty at the time of the shooting - told jurors that she pulled off the Riverside (91) Freeway at the Central Avenue offramp when her husband threatened to kill her and began choking her after berating her for speaking to a male childhood friend at a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in Compton. She said she told him to get out of her BMW and he responded by telling her that she could walk home and grabbed the keys out of the ignition. She said she started running away from the car and then stopped, worrying that he might get a gun out of her purse and shoot her. "I saw the gun on the ground. I made the decision to go run and get it," Johnson said, adding her husband seemed to be looking for the weapon. "I was scared. I didn't want to die... When I grabbed it tight, it fired"... When the prosecutor asked about whether she had used tactics she had learned through the CHP to try to subdue her husband, she responded, "Ma'am, my husband wasn't a suspect... I wasn't thinking about tactics from work... I was scared." [Full article here]

CHP OFFICER FOUND GUILTY IN HUSBAND'S SHOOTING DEATH: Tomiekia Johnson faces 50 years to life in prison in the 2009 death of her husband, Marcus Lemons. Johnson collapsed after the verdict was read and was taken to L.A. County/USC Hospital.
Los Angeles Times
By Richard Winton
January 24, 2012
[Excerpts] ...In a case filled with allegations of anger management and domestic violence, the verdict in the rare prosecution of a law enforcement officer on murder charges proved to be dramatic. As the guilty verdict was read, veteran CHP Officer Tomiekia Johnson shook, then slid under the table... Court proceedings continued as L.A. County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry polled the jurors to confirm the verdict. Johnson, 32, could face 50 years to life in prison after a jury of eight men and four women found her guilty on first-degree murder in the death of her husband, Marcus Lemons, 31... Prosecutors Natalie Adomian and Stephanie Sparagna presented evidence that on their way home, Johnson put a gun against her husband's head and shot him. She then drove a few miles to her parents' home with the body in the car and called 911. During the trial, the prosecution put on witnesses who portrayed Johnson as a someone with an aggressive personality and a tendency to drink excessively... She said she pulled off the 91 Freeway and told him to walk home. He "snatched" the keys out of the ignition, she said, and a struggle over her purse ensued. "I think he wanted my purse for the gun in the purse," said Johnson, whose defense attorney tried to present her as the victim of domestic violence. "I was not trying to kill Marcus. I would never try to hurt him," she said, weeping. "He always hit me"... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder state politics]

8 comments:

  1. Former California Highway Patrol officer Tomiekia Johnson, who was convicted in the first-degree murder or her husband, was sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison

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  2. Thank God for closer for the Lemons family and Marcus kids who will grow up without a father in their lives. Justice was truly served.

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  3. A dead man can really talk by the evidence that was shown. I bet with her being a Police Officer, she thought using self defense, would justify her killing him. Murder is what it was, and life in prison should of been the verdict. She is lucky, she did not get the death penalty.

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  4. Wow! I bet the Johnson family did not expect that outcome. You know what they say, if you killed someone, then its your word against a dead person. That's the concept and mentality of most police officers. Tomiekia was execution style, like she was a mobster. They really could of used her on the TV show "Sopranos".

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  5. The situation is really sad because if these man did abuse this woman...both of their family sit and watched it all..Both families lost...a daughter and a son I don't see a victory for any party.. .Both of their life has been lost one physical and the other to the justice system..And the children truly suffer to grow up without parents..Praying that people stop watching other destroy each other..and praying for better days

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  6. R.I.P. MARCUS LEMONS

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  7. This new generation!!! WoW!!! "be careful" who you love or sleep with you always have a choice ©

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  8. God bless u T.johnson r.I.p Marcus from Lonnell

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