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CHP officer accused of killing husband set to answer charges in court

January 13, 2011 |  6:31 am

Tomieka Johnson and Marcus Lemons

A California Highway Patrol officer who claimed she shot her husband in self-defense two years ago was to be arraigned in court Thursday.

CHP Officer Tomiekia Johnson will appear in a downtown L.A. court for the first time to answer charges that she murdered her husband.

On a Saturday night two years ago, Johnson pulled out a handgun and fatally shot her husband in the head on an offramp of the 91 Freeway in Compton.

She then drove less than a mile to the home of her parents, who called authorities to report the killing. Johnson told detectives she acted in self-defense after her husband, barber Marcus Lemons, physically abused her during a heated argument.

Lemons' family and colleagues at the Compton barbershop where he worked were immediately skeptical of Johnson's story, describing Lemons as a peaceful man who would never hit his wife. But detectives had little to go on, and the case quickly faded from the headlines.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian believes Johnson "intentionally shot her husband," saying that the killing had nothing to do with self-defense.

"She didn't call 911, her parents did," Adomian added.

Marcus Lemons' brother, Alonzo Lemons, said he was surprised but grateful when detectives told him that Johnson had been arrested.

"I was kind of in shock. It has been almost two years now," he said. "It won't bring him back. It was sad anyway it goes. They have a child together. Now that child is without a mother and a father."


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Tomiekia Johnson and Marcus Lemons. Credit: Family photo provided by KTLA-TV Channel 5