California Highway Patrol officer guilty in the murder of her husband Marcus Lavar Lemons. A judge sentenced Tomiekia Johnson to 50 years in prison.
In cases of intimate partner violence that leads to homicide a perfect picture as shown up on the couple's wedding day is not always reality behind closed doors. The killer was a trained law enforcement officer. She used a defense during the trial that never passes the smell test in cases of spousal murder, "claiming the gun discharged accidentally." Back on Feb 21,2009, the then officer claimed the couple pulled off the road during a heated argument she claimed that Marcus was both verbally and physically violent and the gun went off with him taking a bullet in the head. Her story continued to change when questioned by investigators. Testimony included forensic evidence that she was not inside the car as originally claimed, but, outside of the car when she pulled the trigger.
The murder of Marcus Lavar Lemons was a premeditated crime by a sworn law enforcement officer who likely banked on the fact that she was a female and would likely get away with murder. But the evidence against her during trial was overwhelming.
And in any future appeal that the former officer attempts to file for a new trial will likely be denied. The family of Marcus Lavar Lemons can thank Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry in ensuring the killer has no basis or claim to appeal the verdict.
Inmate partner homicide is not gender specific. Nor is a relationship as perfect as the picture they want the world to see. Both men and women are capable of killing the person with whom they are in a relationship. It stings a bit more when a person sworn to serve and protect uses the law to brake the law to commit the crime of murder.
Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education as a educator and specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies directing prevention for high risk situations and cases.
A national trainer to law enforcement, training officers, prosecutors, judges, legislators, social service providers, healthcare professionals, victim advocates and the faith based community and author.. In partnership with Management Resources Ltd. of New York addressing prevention and solutions within the community to the workplace. Host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show,"Time'sUp!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host onCrime Wire. Online contributions: Forbes : Crime, She Writes providing commentary about the hottest topics on crime, justice, and law from a woman’s perspective, as well as Time's Up! a blog which searches for solutions (SOS) for victims of crime.