Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ashland City, TN: Man charged in wife's death

A 74-year-old Ashland City man is being held in the Cheatham County Jail on a $200,000 bond after authorities said he shot and killed his wife of 56 years on Christmas Day.

Carl Hazel Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 73-year-old wife, Grace Lee Johnson.

Cheatham County investigator Dale Smith said Johnson shot his wife at the couple’s home at 1100 Trouble Rd. about 1:20 p.m. on Dec. 25. She died en route to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Smith said the two had been fighting on Christmas Day and it was part of an ongoing domestic dispute.

The husband retrieved a .22 rifle from a bedroom closet and met his wife in the hallway, where the dispute continued, Smith said. That’s when Johnson shot his wife once in her chest.

No one else was in the home at the time of the shooting.

The victim called 911 to say her husband was going to shoot her.

“The 911 dispatcher heard a gunshot and then the phone disconnected,” Smith said.

Carl Johnson fled the scene in a vehicle and was driving at a high rate of speed down Trouble Road, which is off Valley View Road.

“Family members saw him and then went to the couple’s home, where they found the victim,” Smith said.

Smith said Johnson returned to the home and family members detained him until authorities arrived on the scene.

Family members told authorities that Johnson might have Alzheimer's disease.

Smith said authorities brought Johnson in for a mental evaluation in July after he fired shots inside his home.

Bond was set for Johnson during a hearing on Dec. 26 in General Sessions Court. His next court date is set for Jan. 16, officials said.

Funeral services for Grace Johnson were held on Saturday at Cheatham County Funeral Home. Burial followed in the Joelton Hills Memory Gardens.

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