FORT WORTH — A 48-year-old Fort Worth man was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for killing his girlfriend, a 33-year-old mother of two young children.Eugene Esters, 48, will have to serve 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole, prosecutors said.During the trial this week, prosecutors Sean Colston and Rhett Parham presented evidence that Esters ambushed Jennifer Johnson on Dec. 5, 2011, in her apartment complex parking lot. They had had a stormy releationship for several years and had one child.During closing arguments, Colston reminded the jury that Esters admitted shooting Johnson at least four times.Esters also shot Jennifer Johnson’s mother, Della Johnson, once in the chest, according to prosecutors. He was not charged for that.“Just think about the audacious manner of this murder,” Parham said. “This is outside at 3 p.m. during broad daylight. The only good thing in this case, the only silver lining is that we’re not talking about two murders or three murders.”During the trial, the jury heard a recording of an interview in which Esters told a police detective that he would have turned the gun on himself if he had not run out of bullets. Prosecutors called the act “cowardly.”“It’s a miracle that Ms. Johnson’s mother wasn’t killed and then we’d be talking about a capital murder,” Parham said. “He made no attempt to leave, no attempt to flee.”Chris Johnson, a cornerback with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, is the brother of Jennifer Johnson and son of Della Johnson. Chris Johnson, his wife and mother attended the trial all week.On Monday, Esters rejected a plea agreement that would have resulted in a 55-year prison sentence with the possibility of parole after serving half that sentence.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3