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Springfield man sentenced to life in prison for murder

Springfield man sentenced to life in prison for murder
Posted: Aug 16, 2019
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0

Press Release from District Attorney Scott Perrilloux:

AMITE---District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux reports that 21-year-old Tony Johnson, of Springfield, LA, was sentenced to life without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for second degree murder. Johnson was found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Christopher Franklin in July.


On August 18, 2016, Ponchatoula Police responded to Methvin Drive in Ponchatoula, LA, in reference to a possible homicide. Upon arrival, officers located Christopher Franklin deceased in a bedroom inside of the residence suffering from an apparent gunshot to the head. Detectives observed the window screen lying on the floor which had fallen off the wall in the hallway and several drawers rummaged through in the living room. Louisiana State Police Crime Lab responded to the scene to photograph, search for finger prints, and collect DNA evidence. It was determined that clear palm prints were observed on the exterior window leading to the residence. The palm prints were in the middle of an area of dust that covered the window. All evidence collected was processed and tested by Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

On February 16, 2017, Louisiana State Police contacted the Ponchatoula Police Department to inform that an individual identified as Tony Johnson was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail. Johnson was fingerprinted using an Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). State Police confirmed that the palm prints for Johnson and the latent lifts submitted as evidence from the crime scene were the same. Louisiana State Police Crime Lab personnel testified that a CODIS match was made using DNA found at the scene of the crime and the DNA of Tony Johnson collected during the booking process was confirmed as a match.

During Johnson’s initial statement he informed agents that he had never been to the residence where the homicide took place. After being confronted with the fact that his fingerprints were located at the crime scene, he stated that he possibly burglarized the residence on a previous day. This interview was concluded. Shortly after, Johnson requested to speak to law enforcement about the crime. During the statement, Johnson confessed to firing a shotgun but not knowing initially that he actually struck the victim while attempting to burglarize the residence. Johnson stated that he and three other individuals planned to burglarize the residence where the homicide took place and provided details about the night.

Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar represented the State of Louisiana; Judge Robert H. Morrison presiding.
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