Geismar man beats wife to death with bat

David Johnson, Sr. is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary with a weapon and violation of protective orders. Photo courtesy: Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office

A Geismar man is accused of brutally beating his estranged wife to death Sunday night with a baseball bat.

David L. Johnson Sr., 38, broke into the house of Monica Butler Johnson during a party to celebrate their son’s graduation and beat her in front of guests, according to Charlotte Guedry, spokeswoman for 23rd Judicial District Attorney Ricky Babin. Johnson also allegedly broke his 18-year-old son’s arm when the teen tried to defend his mother during the attack.

Johnson’s wife’s body was found in her backyard around 11 p.m. Sunday at her home.

He was arrested Monday on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated burglary with a weapon and violation of protective orders, Ascension parish sheriff’s deputies said.

Johnson’s wife went to the District Attorney’s office twice, asking prosecutors to not charge her husband for a domestic abuse arrest.

Johnson had started an anger management class in July, after his wife asked for a restraining order against him, as part of a probation program after he was arrested for allegedly choking her.

Guedry noted in David Johnson’s Dec. 31 arrest that Monica Johnson refused to give Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies a statement about the dispute over her cellphone or receive medical treatment.

Guedry said Monica Johnson did agree, however, to be photographed by deputies, and her husband was arrested. He was released on $2,000 bail Jan. 5.

Months later, Monica Johnson would seek a protective order against her husband.

Though she claimed her estranged husband choked her, she had agreed then to drop the count because she thought it was an isolated incident due to her husband’s “recent medical condition” and his medication. The request does not specify what that condition was.

David Johnson was never charged in the alleged domestic abuse incident, but the case was not closed.

Without her cooperation, prosecutors were unable to move forward with the case, Guedry said, so they decided to put David Johnson in the District Attorney’s Probation Program, send him to anger management and place other conditions on him.

Guedry said David Johnson had 18 months to finish the program, which he began in July, while the Dec. 31 domestic abuse count remained pending.

But something changed six months later when Monica Johnson, an admissions administrator at Remington College in Baton Rouge for nearly 13 years, sought a protective order against him. She and others had seen him stalking her when he showed up at a June 19 birthday party she and her 8-year-old son were attending and then later that night appearing on her street.

Deputies did not arrest Johnson after the June 19 incident but gave him a warning not to trespass.

Those and other allegations of stalking and alleged obsessive behavior showed up in her request for a protective order filed June 24, five days after the birthday incident.

“My sons and I are not comfortable in our home,” Monica Johnson wrote.

After the request, a temporary restraining order was granted against David Johnson and then extended on July 6 until Aug. 24.

 

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