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CHP officer pleads not guilty to killing husband

January 13, 2011 |  2:43 pm

A California Highway Patrol officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to killing her husband on an offramp of the 91 Freeway nearly two years ago as they drove home from a Compton restaurant.

Tomiekia Johnson, 31, contended in the aftermath of the shooting that she fired the gun, which she had gotten from a relative, in self-defense against her husband, Marcus Lemons.

But after a lengthy investigation, Johnson was arrested Tuesday by homicide detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at a CHP office in Los Angeles, where she had been assigned since the slaying.

Johnson is charged with killing her 31-year-old husband, a Compton barber and renowned amateur bowler, while off duty. Johnson told investigators she fired in-self defense because her husband was physically abusing her.

According to Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian, Johnson intentionally shot her husband, and the killing had nothing to do with self-defense. The couple had left a T.G.I. Friday's in Compton shortly before the shooting.

At some point, the couple stopped the car. Law enforcement sources told The Times that Johnson was outside the car when she fired the shot.

The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the case was ongoing, said Johnson later told detectives Lemons had physically abused her in the car.

The sources said detectives contend that forensic information gathered at the scene contradicts some parts of her account.

After the shooting, Johnson drove the car to her parents' home, where they called authorities.

Johnson was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.


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CHP says they moved quickly to remove officer suspected of killing from contact with public

-- Richard Winton