On Thursday (August 28), Mary Johnson – a wife and mother from Oklahoma – was sentenced to 20 years in a New Mexico prison after admitting to fatally stabbing her 11-year-old son, Bruce Johnson Jr., before attempting to kill herself. The incident occurred in Hobbs, New Mexico at 1 a.m. on July 10, 2022.
District Attorney Diana Luce was originally seeking a first-degree murder conviction, but Johnson decided to enter a ‘insanity and incapacity to form specific intent’ plea. That changed when she accepted a plea agreement and pled guilty to second-degree murder, according to the Hobbs News-Sun on Thursday.
She ended up receiving 15 years in prison for the second-degree murder conviction and an additional five years in prison for ‘aggravated circumstances.’ Johnson was also slapped with a $12,500 fine and will undergo two years of parole upon her release – she wil be partially credited with time already served.
“These types of cases are never easy. We can only hope to provide some sense of closure and justice to the family. We extend our gratitude to our Law Enforcement partners on this case specifically the Lea County Sheriff’s Office for a job well done,” Diana Luce said in a statement following the sentencing.
It was at 1:00 in the morning on July 10, 2022 that Bruce Johnson Sr. called 911 to report that his son, Bruce Johnson Jr., and wife, Mary Johnson, had been stabbed in their family home in Hobbs, New Mexico. Bruce Sr. had woken up in the middle of the night to his 11-year-old screaming in pure agony.
Mary and Bruce Jr. were sent to a hospital and treated for their injuries. While Mary survived, Bruce Jr. succumbed to his stab wounds shortly after arriving at the hospital – but not before he ID’d his killer. It was later confirmed when Mary admitted to the killing – and admitted to trying to kill herself afterward.
Bruce Sr. and Bruce Jr. Moved to New Mexico to Avoid Mary Johnson
As the investigation continued, police officers learned that Bruce Johnson Sr. and his son, Bruce Johnson Jr., had moved from Oklahoma to New Mexico in hopes of getting away from Mary Johnson. The father accused the mother of abusing their son and also accused her of acting violently towards him at times.
While Bruce Sr. had plans of filing for divorce as a result of the abuse and violence, he ultimately allowed his wife to see her son after she repeatedly begged him. So, he invited her to their home in Hobbs, NM – which turned out to be a grave mistake due to her ill intentions. She took her opportunity on July 10, 2022.
“If I can’t have him, no one can,” she told hospital staff while being treated for her injuries – she stabbed herself in the chest multiple times in the kitchen after stabbing her son repeatedly while he lay in his bed. It’s the type of scene no father wants to wake up to in the middle of the night, but Bruce Sr. had to live it.
Authorities later revealed that, while there were no incidents of abuse reported between the family in Hobbs, New Mexico, there were multiple reports – at least two incidents – of abuse while the family was living in Oklahoma. While the recent sentencing won’t bring his son back, Bruce Sr. can now begin the mourning process in peace.
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