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home : news : news May 1, 2016

3/12/2013 11:45:00 AM
Johnson sentenced to life in prison

By Larry Dobson

Last Friday, March 8, Jerry R. Johnson, 35, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of his wife, Manya Jewel (Twite) Johnson.

Manya Jewel (Twite) Johnson, 32, was brutally murdered at her home in the Como Park neighborhood of St. Paul on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. Police learned of the killing Monday, Jan. 7 from Nathan Schram, White Bear Lake, a former prison inmate who had been in prison with the husband. Schram notified police that he had been told by Johnson that Johnson's wife was dead and that Johnson had hidden her body in Schram's garage. Police found the body in the garage.

Johnson had filed a missing person report the morning of Jan. 7. According to police, after being arrested, Johnson admitted that he had killed his wife with a gunshot to the head after being told by her that she was leaving him and taking their 17-month-old son. The Star Tribune reported that Johnson said in court that he had stolen the weapon from his wife's father over Christmas.

Johnson was previously in prison after being convicted in 1996 of the brutal rape of a young woman in Anoka County.

Manya and Steven Johnson were married in September of 2009.

Manya is the daughter of Terrance and Bonnie Twite of Dodge Center. She was a 1998 graduate of Triton High School, the 2007 Miss Dodge Center and had earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in counseling psychology. She was employed at Target Corporation.

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