Shiprock man pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Jerry Johnson killed woman in June 2017 after argument

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man has pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge after he killed a woman by striking her in the head and stabbing her in the back.

Jerry Johnson, 56, entered his guilty plea today as part of a plea agreement in Albuquerque federal court, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Johnson was arrested in July 2017 on a criminal complaint that he murdered a Navajo woman on June 26, 2017.

He was indicted for the murder charge on Dec. 20.

The criminal complaint states Johnson called the victim's probation officer on June 28, 2017, and stated the woman was dead, and that he was going to kill himself by pouring gasoline on himself and around his residence and lighting himself on fire.

Navajo police officers arrived at the scene and took Johnson into custody with no incident. A deceased woman was found lying on the floor of Johnson's residence.

Johnson admitted to killing the woman after the two had been fighting, according to the plea agreement.

The plea agreement recommends a sentence within a range of 12 years and nine months to 13 years and five months in prison with an undetermined term of supervised release.

A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and Farmington FBI office.