Published July 6, 2017
WINDOW ROCK – A Shiprock man has been charged with murder after he confessed to stabbing his girlfriend and then threatening to set himself on fire.
Jerry Johnson Jr., no age given, is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshall’s Office.
The 53-year-old victim, whose name was not revealed in the arresting document, was found dead on the floor of Johnson’s house on June 28 after he called the victim’s probation officer and reported what he had done.
At that time, he told the probation officer he planned to set himself on fire and burn down his house. She convinced him not to do it but when Navajo Nation police got to the scene, they found the carpet in the house saturated with gasoline.
The victim’s body was found lying in blood. Police observed trauma to her head, a stab wound to her back and large cuts on her legs.
Johnson told police he and the victim had been dating off and on for about two years.
She came to his house, he said, on June 26 after getting into an argument with her daughter at their Farmington apartment. He began arguing with her, he said, and at some point he remembered hitting her in the back of the head, after which she went outside and fell to the ground.
Then she got up, came inside the house and laid down and started calling him names, said Johnson, at which point he went into the kitchen, got a knife and came back and stabbed her.
He told police he then continued drinking until he blacked out. The following morning he saw she was dead. He took off her bloody clothes and put clean clothes on her and then burned the bloody clothes outside.
It wasn’t until the following day when he reported she was dead, he said, deciding to make the announcement to her probation officer since he knew she had an appointment with her that day.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.