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CHP officer arrested in husband's slaying [Updated]

January 11, 2011 |  2:09 pm

A California Highway Patrol officer who fatally shot her husband two years ago in what she said was self-defense was charged with the man's killing on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Tomiekia Johnson, 31, of Compton, was arrested by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies, according to the district attorney's office.

The officer had initially told sheriff’s homicide investigators that she retrieved a handgun and shot her husband once in the upper body after an argument erupted and he became verbally and physically abusive. Prosecutors, however, say she intentionally shot her husband, a father of two.

The shooting occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on a Saturday in 400 block of Amantha Avenue in Compton. The officer did not remain where she shot her husband but drove to her parents’ home and reported the killing from there. She was not arrested at the time of the shooting and was off-duty.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives, however, doubted the story especially after family members and friends of the 31-year-old barber at Platinum Cutz in Compton described him as a peaceful man not known to be violent. By contrast, witnesses told investigators the officer had a history of drinking heavily.

The couple had met through a local bowling alley, Cal Bowling Lanes in Lakewood.

[Updated 3 p.m.: CHP Sgt. Denise Joslin said Tuesday that Johnson has been employed with the department since 2002.  When CHP officials were initially notified about the criminal investigation into the off-duty incident in 2009, Johnson was immediately placed “in a non-enforcement administrative position,” Joslin said. At the conclusion of the criminal investigation, and in conjunction with Tuesday’s arrest, the CHP immediately placed Johnson on administrative leave without pay, Joslin said.]


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-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report