LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A former California Highway Patrol officer was convicted Monday of first-degree murder for shooting her husband, collapsing in the courtroom when the verdict was read.

Paramedics were summoned to the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles when Tomiekia Johnson, 32, crumpled in the courtroom after a clerk read the jury’s verdict.

All spectators were cleared from the courtroom, creating an emotional scene with sobbing relatives.

Johnson insisted during the trial that the shooting of her 31-year-old husband, Marcus Lavar Lemons, on Feb. 21, 2009, was an accident.

“Did you want to fire that weapon?” defense attorney Darryl A. Stallworth asked his client.

“No,” she responded.

“Did you want to kill your husband?” her lawyer asked.

“No,” she said.

Lemons was shot once in the head.

Johnson — who was off-duty at the time of the shooting — told jurors that she pulled off the Riverside (91) Freeway at the Central Avenue offramp when her husband threatened to kill her and began choking her after berating her for speaking to a male childhood friend at a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in Compton.

She said she told him to get out of her BMW and he responded by telling her that she could walk home and grabbed the keys out of the ignition. She said she started running away from the car and then stopped, worrying that he might get a gun out of her purse and shoot her.

“I saw the gun on the ground. I made the decision to go run and get it,” Johnson said, adding her husband seemed to be looking for the weapon. “I was scared. I didn’t want to die … When I grabbed it tight, it fired.”

On cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney Natalie Adomian, the former officer said her husband had physically abused her, including once in in a Las Vegas hotel room around 2008 resulting in an injury to her neck.

When the prosecutor asked about whether she had used tactics she had learned through the CHP to try to subdue her husband, she responded, “Ma’am, my husband wasn’t a suspect … I wasn’t thinking about tactics from work … I was scared.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (17)
  1. I Put Cops in Jail says:

    One cop down…more to go…

    One bad seed spoils the bunch.

  2. uhoh says:

    She didn’t get the memo. Its ok for cops to kill civilians, its not ok to shoot family members.

  3. keith d says:

    R.I.P MARCUS. 25 to life…………………………………………………..

  4. Frank says:

    The cop doesn’t appear to be Mexican.

    1. Kathy says:

      keep your trashy comments to your self, Frank!!!!!!!!!

  5. Charles Williams says:

    Knowing Marcus for most of his life there a NO WINNERS in this case. There’s a little girl without her Father & now her Mother for possibly the rest of life. Very sad sitution

  6. Kim says:

    Black cops go to jail while white ones go free!

  7. Karen says:

    Justice was served. She shot him on purpose. That is what the jury said. What a drama queen.

  8. Frank says:

    I agree with Kim. Additionally, the Mexicans go more often as well.

  9. mike says:

    Kim, you’re a complete MORON! You must be a GHETTO BLACK SKANK to think like that. Can you name ALL the black cops that went to jail???????? I can’t remember any! You’re an idiot, stay in the ghetto, that’s where you belong!

  10. Johannes Mehserle DID IT says:

    Hey Mike, you come across as a very bitter and angry black man.

    No need for the ad hominem attacks on Kim simply because she has an opinion that differs from yours.

    Be sure not to drop the soap Ms. Johnson…

  11. ponch says:

    am i the only one that keeps hearing the theme song to C.H.I.P.S.?

    eric estrata is prob free for an interview.

  12. 57nomad says:

    I’m getting tired of the division of Americans by race or whatever. We are entering dangerous times. Our enemies do not distinguish between us, they want to kill us all. Let’s not make it easier for them by weakening our selves with silly self-inflicted wounds.

  13. Kevin says:

    Cops are like anyone else they kill and can be killed! what’s the difference…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

Weather Team
Goldstein Tipline

Watch & Listen LIVE