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Murder charge


By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff A Lawson woman charged in the shooting death of her husband following reports of an apparent altercation at their home, made her fi rst appearance in district court Thursday morning.
Debra Ann Johnson, 47, of 1516 Rhodes Chapel Road, sobbed quietly as Judge Ham ilton H. Singleton read the state’s allegations of second degree murder against her. Her husband, Danny John son, 57, died during transfer to Medical Center of South Arkansas after deputies re sponded to a frantic 9-1-1 call We d nesday morning at the couple’s residence near Law son.
Several family members and friends of both the de fendant and the victim lined the pews of the courtroom to witness the appearance. John son said in court she had only been married since February, though one neighbor familiar with the couple reported they had been together for years.
Johnson’s attorney, William Plouffe, argued for his client’s release, saying she posed an extremely low fl ight risk and citing substantial family ties to the area, along with con cerns for an 11-year-old grand daughter she was raising as her own. Plouffe alluded to Johnson’s "domestic situa tion " and advised the allega tions "would show that this was a crime of passion, not a pre-meditated situation."
A background check on Johnson revealed no criminal history, said Plouffe.
"There’s nobody harder on criminals in Union County than I am, but that’s after guilt is assessed which is not the case here," said Singleton.
The judge ordered an unse cured bond of $50,000 and set a daily curfew on Johnson. The defendant was also ordered to sign a waiver of extradition and to have no contact with the victim’s family.
Johnson allegedly grabbed a revolver and shot her husband following an argument that began in the couple’s vehicle We dnesday morning in front of their home near Lawson, according to Union County Sheriff Ken Jones.
Jones said Johnson had been released from county jail as of Thursday afternoon.
Danny Johnson was the owner of a used car business on East Main street in El Do rado.

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