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Sarah Johnson
Born January 24, 1987 (1987-01-24) (age 23)
Bellevue, Idaho, U.S.A
Charge(s) First degree murder
Penalty Two consecutive life sentences
plus 15 years
Status Incarcerated
Occupation High school student
at the time of the offense
Parents Alan and Diane Johnson
(both deceased)

Sarah Marie Johnson (born January 24, 1987) is a convicted murderer who is currently incarcerated for killing her parents in 2003 when she was 16 years old.



Johnson was found guilty of the first-degree murder of her parents, Alan Scott Johnson and Diane Johnson, on March 16, 2005 by an Idaho jury. She was sentenced to serve two consecutive life sentences and another 15 years for using a gun, without the possibility of parole, by Idaho Fifth District Judge Barry Wood on June 30, 2005. Her defense focused on the possibility of another shooter that killed her parents, and she maintained her innocence during and after the trial, in spite of strong evidence against her presented by the prosecution.

Sarah Marie Johnson lived in Bellevue, Idaho. She came from an upper-class family. When sentencing Johnson, Judge Barry Wood told her "you had it all". Judge Wood went further to explain that he could not understand what led her to murder her parents as her parents had provided well for her.

The trial concluded that Johnson, at approximately 6:20 am on September 2, 2003, took a .264 Winchester rifle from the guest house at her parents' home, walked into her parents' bedroom and then shot her mother in the head. She then walked into the bathroom, where her father was taking a shower, and shot him in the chest, right above the heart. Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling immediately closed down the street and stopped a garbage truck that had just made its rounds. In the garbage was the key evidence in the case: a bloody bathrobe, a left-handed leather glove and a right-handed latex glove all containing Sarah's DNA. During one part of the interrogation interview one investigator asked "Would you say you're sorry?", then Sarah responded, "No because I didn't do anything wrong."

There was no dispute between defense and prosecution that there was friction between Johnson and her parents due to Johnson's three month relationship with an illegal Mexican immigrant. Johnson was only sixteen at the time and reports suggest that her parents were going to report the crime to the police. The prosecution regarded this as a possible motive for the murders. Johnson is currently serving her life sentence at Pocatello Women's Correctional Center.

On June 26, 2008, a unanimous Idaho Supreme Court affirmed Johnson's convictions, thereby rejecting all issues she had raised on appeal.

Rare crime

Johnson's arrest gained much attention due to the rare circumstances of such a crime. Parricide, the murder of a parent, is typically committed by males. One recent study indicates that only four girls in the United States have been convicted of parricide in the last 24 years.[1] Rarer still is double parricide, in which both parents are murdered; virtually unheard of is a female-perpetrated double parricide in which the female acted alone.


The case has been featured on Discovery ID's Solved series and Deadly Women series, the Suburban Secrets documentary show, the Spike TV reality show Murder, Snapped on the Oxygen Network and ABC's Primetime: Crime. This case also appeared on an episode of Forensic Files on TruTV and on E!'s Too Young to Kill: 15 Shocking Crimes at #9.

See also


External links

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