Thursday, June 14, 2012

San Diego: Mom says she killed husband after he shot daughter

SAN DIEGO — A San Carlos woman facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of her husband and 14-year-old daughter told police that she turned the gun on her spouse only after he killed the girl, according to court documents.

Regina Renee Johnson, 55, was arrested June 2 after the bodies of Reuben Johnson, 56, and their daughter Aaliyah, were found in a condominium where the family lived. Police were notified of the deaths early that morning after Johnson mentioned them to a relative in Washington state.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Regina Johnson made comments to investigators as she was being removed the condo on Navajo Road. She claimed that her daughter didn’t go to school earlier in the week, which angered the husband.

He started to argue with the girl and Johnson intervened. She told police she started to “go after” the husband and he turned in her direction.

When the teenage girl stepped in to try to protect her mother, Reuben Johnson shot and killed her. The mother said she got ahold of the gun and shot her husband.

According to the affidavit, Regina Johnson told police she put a blanket over her daughter’s body and had been lying and sleeping next to it for several days. Investigators have said they believe the husband and daughter could have been killed as early as May 30.

She did not call police, but eventually she called a relative in Washington.

Johnson, who was laid off last year from her job as an office administrator at a San Diego financial firm, was charged last week with two counts of murder. If convicted, she faces a possible prison sentence of 100 years to life.

Police and prosecutors declined Thursday to comment on whether they have evidence that contradicts Johnson’s statements to investigators.

“We file charges when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Tanya Sierra, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.

Search warrant documents show police took several items from the home including a 9 mm handgun, a pink blanket, a Bible and prescription medication.

Reuben Johnson retired from the Navy in 2009 after a 20-year career. He had been working recently as a security guard. The gun used in the shootings was registered to him.

Aaliyah had just completed her freshman year at West Hills High School in Santee. She was a cheerleader at the school.

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