Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicago man sentenced to 34 years in prison for attempted hit on ex-wife

A Chicago man was sentenced to 34 years in prison Monday, June 28 for arranging a hit on his wife by a man who turned out to be a suburban Chicago detective. 42 year old John Johnson was in the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton for violating an order of protection that his ex-wife filed. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin presided over Johnson's trial.

Johnson was caught on a jail phone arranging the murder with a DuPage County sheriff's detective who was posing as a hitman. He is heard in the recordings telling the fake hitman that he wants his ex-wife shot twice in the head. The detective asks five different times if Johnson wants to back out, but Johnson never does. Johnson argued that his threats against his ex-wife were mere jailhouse bravado. He claimed he was set up by authorities who used a fellow inmate to mediate the hit.

Judge Guerin discounted Johnson's claim that his threats were idle, citing his history of domestic violence. Your criminal history demonstrates an inability or disinterest in obeying the law," Guerin said. That history includes two previous "girlfriends" who testified they were physically assaulted by Johnson, and their testimony was backed up by Johnson's ex-wife, who testified that they were only married for a year before Johnson hit her with a frying pan. That attack led to their divorce.

Johnson claimed that his victim were lying during the trial. "Maybe people are underestimating my physical strength, but if I swing a frying pan at your head and hit you in the leg, you would need medical attention. I'm not trying to brag."

After he was convicted by a jury which took less than an hour to reach their guilty verdict, he made a rambling statement, claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy, and saying, "There will be a time when the rabbit will have the gun and it won't be no fun. But I'm not talking about a gun-gun."

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