CHP Officer Convicted of Killing Husband

Tomiekia Johnson collapsed in the courtroom immediately after the verdict was read by the court clerk

A former California Highway Patrol officer has been convicted of first-degree murder for the 2009 shooting death of her husband.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for a day before finding Tomiekia Johnson, 32, guilty of the first-degree murder of her 31-year-old husband, Marcus Lemons, on Feb. 21, 2009.

The jury also found true the special allegations of personal discharge of a firearm and discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Offiice said.

Johnson, who has been out on bail during the trial, collapsed under the defense table as the verdict was being read, the DA's Office said. Paramedics were called and she was taken out of the court room handcuffed to a gurney.

She faces 50 years to life in prison when she returns to court March 9 for sentencing.

Lemons was fatally shot as he was sitting in the passenger side of Johnson’s BMW near a 91 Freeway off-ramp about 11 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2009. Johnson then drove the car to her parents home in Compton and had her mother call police, prosecutors said.

Johnson, who had been with the CHP since 2002 and was off-duty at the time, told investigators Lemons was being verbally and physically abusive and that she shot him out of self-defense.

But during trial, prosecutors painted Johnson as mentally and physically abusive toward Lemons and said he was a battered husband.

They say the two had been arguing and drinking just prior to the shooting.

The defense countered, saying it was Johnson who was the victim of abuse and she feared for her life. On the night of the shooting, the two had struggled over the gun and it went off. Lemons suffered from a bullet wound to the head.

Johnson was arrested and charged with murder nearly two years after the shooting. She had been on administrative duty with the CHP prior to her arrest.

Lemons was married to Johnson for about five years and they shared a young daughter. Lemons also had a 13-year-old son from a previous relationship.

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