DOROTHY CHARLES BANKS:
Poet With An Opinion is a mixture of take no prisoners editorials and comments written by me. I posted my first comment 3/11/2010. There are also reflections of the past. Poetry is my first love. In writing verse I can create fantasy characters, mixing them with real situations, or I can go fantasy all the way, using common language to create vivid images. For the benefit of relatives who may start their own genealogy search, I've started the process.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Wife shot to death in mall by estranged husband
Wife shot to death in mall by estranged husband
By Dorothy Charles Banks
November 16, 2006
ANYWHERE, USA---On November 17, 2006, about 2:30 p.m., John “Deeks” Johannon, 27, the estranged husband of Janie Victoria Johannon, 25, shot and killed his wife in the parking lot of a popular Upsville shopping mall as several witnesses watched in horror. They were sacred to approach the angry man.
It was a typical summer afternoon according to Justina Newer, a sales associate. “It’s such a pretty day. I’ve never witnessed a crime before. Today is my 23rd birthday. I’m having a birthday party tonight. Now I don’t know if I’ll enjoy myself. I’ll never get over this,” she said. “The gunshots are still ringing in my ears. I’m trembling all over,” Newer told news reporters on the scene.
Newer, on the verge of tears, was visibly shaken by what she had witnessed. She said she thought nothing of it when she saw the man walking toward the woman, who was getting out of her car. “He was talking to her. I assumed they knew each. He was smiling. She wasn’t,” Newer said, putting a trembling hand over her mouth.
With only four parked cars between them, Newer said she heard the man and woman suddenly exchanging words in what sounded like a “ very heated argument. He sounded angry. So did she.”
Newer said she sat in her car, not wanting to attract the couple’s attention. She didn’t turn on the car’s ignition as she called the mall security on her cell phone. She was talking with security when she heard the man threaten: “I warned you I’d kill you!”
Newer said she told security to call the police, because she just heard the man threaten to kill the woman. After hanging up, Newer said she heard two gunshots, and she heard the woman scream.
Newer said she was frozen in the driver’s seat. She wanted to drive off, but her hands were shaking too badly to put the key in the ignition. Newer said she thought Johannon was going to kill himself after shooting the woman.
“He stuck the gun into his mouth. He glanced in my direction and looked away. He didn’t pull the trigger,” Newer said.
“He must’ve changed his mind. He was looking down at the woman. I don’t know if she was dead or alive. I think he was crying. His shoulders were shaking. His head was moving from side to side, as if trying to shake out of his head what he had done. I was scared he was going to shot me,” Newer said. “I was the closest witness. I think I’m watching too many movies,” she laughed nervously.
Unknown to Newer, another witness, Sarah Shackley, had seen the shooting. "I didn’t get out of my car. I called for police. The man was standing over her.”
Two more witnesses also saw the shooting from a glass enclosed entrance/exit door in the mall. They verified that Johannon shot the woman, then put the gun into his mouth, but didn’t pull the trigger.
When mall security and police arrived a herd of shoppers rushed outside. A couple of the shoppers were first cousins to Janie Victoria Johannon. She was on her way to meet them. They were at the food court when they saw people running, and talking excitedly about a shooting in the parking lot. They got outside too late to save their cousin. Victoria Johannon was three months pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Cindy Dorrsey, a cousin, said Johannon became extremely angry when Victoria left him a month ago. Dorrsey said they don’t know why he turned violent. The couple had been married two years.
“We thought they were happy but we weren’t sure. Once in a while we saw red flags, but Janie wouldn’t talk to us about it. Last month she admitted that she was scared of Deeks. She put on a brave face to make him think she wasn’t. He changed like night and day after they were married. He was forever accusing her of cheating on him, especially with his male friends. He had no proof, but he still didn’t trust her. He didn’t trust anyone,” Dorrsey said.
“Everything he accused her of was in his mind,” said Katy Rules, another cousin. “Deeks had begun drinking a lot. I knew it was a matter of time before he carried out his threat to kill Janie.
“Nobody in the family believed he’d do it. Leaving him didn’t save her and the baby. He took two lives for no reason,” said Rules, crying. “He not only killed Janie and their baby, he killed a part of us, too.”
“Janie was a good girl. Deeks was jealous. None of us saw the violence in him before they got married. He was always loving in public. We couldn’t see behind closed doors. They met at a church picnic,” Dorrsey said through sobs. We didn’t see how mean he truly is. He fooled us.”
John “Deeks” Johannon was arrested without incident at the mall, and taken to county jail. As he was handcuffed and put into the police car, Johannon told the arresting officers the shooting was an accident.
“I intended to kill myself in front of her,” he said. “I didn’t intend to hurt my wife.”