Sarah Johnson Murders Parents

Sarah Johnson was a sixteen year old living in Idaho when she would murder her parents

According to court documents Sarah Johnson would fatally shoot her mother who was lying in bed and then fatally shot her father as he was exiting the bathroom. Prosecutors would say that she was fighting with her parents over her relationship with an older man

Sarah Johnson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life without parole

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Sarah Johnson

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Where Is Sarah Johnson Now

Sarah Johnson is incarcerated at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center

When Is Sarah Johnson Release Date

Sarah Johnson is serving a life sentence

Sarah Johnson Case

Alan and Diane Johnson were shot and killed in their home on September 2, 2003. Sarah Johnson (Johnson), the Johnsons’ sixteen year old daughter, was home at the time of the shooting. Johnson consistently denied any involvement, but gave several different accounts of what she was doing, what she saw, and what she heard prior to and after the murders. However, in all accounts she fled the home either before hearing the second shot or immediately thereafter. After fleeing the house, she ran to a neighbors’ house and the police were called. Johnson was ultimately charged with both murders.

Police found a leather glove from a pair usually kept in Diane’s SUV, Johnson’s keys, including a key to the guesthouse, the magazine of a nine-millimeter handgun wrapped in a bandana, and two .264 caliber magnum shells in Johnson’s bedroom. In a garbage can outside of the residence the police also found a latex glove, a leather glove (matching the one found in Johnson’s bedroom), and a pink robe covered in blood that belonged to Johnson and had .25 automatic pistol ammunition in the pocket. Testing revealed that Johnson’s DNA was present inside of the latex glove and that paint chips found inside of the robe matched paint on the shirt Johnson was wearing on the morning of the murders.

The murder weapon, a .264 rifle, belonged to Mel Speegle, who was renting the Johnsons’ guesthouse, but was out of town at the time of the murders. There were no prints on the rifle, scope, or ammunition that matched Johnson’s. Speegle testified at trial that he kept the rifle in his closet, which was unlocked. Speegle also testified at trial that Johnson had access to the guesthouse, knew he would be gone the weekend before the murders, and knew that the rifle along with his other guns and ammunition were located in the closet. Johnson had a key to the guesthouse and had been in there several times including the days immediately preceding the murders. A physical examination of Johnson on the day of the murders revealed linear bruising on Johnson’s left shoulder that would be consistent with gun recoil. Johnson testified that she got the bruising when she tripped over a coffee table at her boyfriend’s house over the weekend.

In 2005, after a lengthy trial, a jury found Johnson guilty of the murder of her parents. State v. Johnson (Johnson I), 145 Idaho 970, 972, 188 P.3d 912, 914 (2008). She was sentenced to two fixed-life terms of imprisonment with a fifteen-year gun enhancement. Id. Johnson’s first direct appeal was dismissed for failure to timely file a notice of appeal. State v. Johnson (Johnson II), 156 Idaho 7, 10, 319 P.3d 491, 494 (2014). Johnson then filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging, among other things, ineffective assistance of counsel for her attorney’s failure to timely file her notice of appeal. Id. The district court found ineffective assistance of counsel for the failure to timely file the notice of appeal and re-entered the conviction of judgment. Id. Johnson then filed a timely notice of appeal, and the district court stayed proceedings on her remaining post-conviction claims pending resolution of the direct appeal. Id. On direct appeal, we affirmed the district court’s judgment of conviction. Johnson I, 145 Idaho at 980, 188 P.3d at 922. Following resolution of her direct appeal, Johnson filed a second amended petition for post-conviction relief. Johnson II, 156 Idaho at 10, 319 P.3d at 494.

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