LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Former California Highway Patrol officer Tomiekia Johnson, who was convicted in the first-degree murder or her husband, was sentenced Friday to 50 years to life in state prison.
Johnson, 32, collapsed in court back in January when the guilty verdict was read.
She insisted during the trial that the shooting of her 31-year-old husband, Marcus Lavar Lemons, on Feb. 21, 2009, was an accident.
Johnson, who was employed by the CHP at the time but was off-duty, told jurors that she pulled off the Riverside (91) Freeway at the Central Avenue offramp after her husband threatened to kill her.
She testified that she told him to get out of her BMW and that he responded by telling her that she could walk home instead and grabbed the keys out of the car’s ignition. She said she began running from the car and then
stopped, telling jurors she worried that her husband might get a gun out of her purse and shoot her.
“I saw the gun on the ground. I made the decision to run and get it,” Johnson testified, adding that 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.”