On the evening of Oct. 6, Jessica Johnson was standing in the front yard of her home on Lillian Street when she heard a car wreck.
Johnson, 19 and pregnant, said she walked down to the scene, saw a woman with serious injuries from the wreck and saw 58-year-old Mark Hague standing near the accident saying, “You better hope she dies.”
The teen said she told Hague, a homeless man with a beer in his hand, “Why don’t you just get out of here? No one wants to hear that.”
Johnson told the Star-Telegram that another woman who arrived at the scene had said, ”I’m her mother,” referring to the female injured in the traffic accident, so she believed the victim had family at the scene.
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According to Johnson, Hague turned to the teen and said, ”Why don’t you just shut the f___ up?” and told her to commit a sex act on him.
Jeremy Johnson, Jessica’s brother, was standing nearby and overheard the argument.
“He (Jeremy) came over and he was just protecting my dignity,” Jessica Johnson said.
Jeremy Johnson, 30, is accused of punching and kicking Hague in the head, killing the homeless man who had been a fixture on North Sylvania Avenue for years.
He was arrested Sunday evening at his mother’s home in North Richland Hills and remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bail. He was charged Tuesday with murder, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.
Jessica Johnson and several other family members and friends of Jeremy Johnson contacted the Star-Telegram after the incident was reported, saying he was a good man who cared about his young kids — an 8-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son — and who had turned his life around.
Court records indicate he was arrested on a drug possession charge in 2017. But the 30-year-old had a job as an iron worker for the past few months.
Shawn Jones of Fort Worth said he knew Hague and has known Jeremy Johnson for about two years, staying with him off-and-on in Fort Worth. Jones had known Hague for almost eight years, he said.
“There was a time I was homeless and that’s how I met him (Hague),” Jones said. “But Jeremy and Mark didn’t know each other.”
Jones described Hague as a good man who had an alcohol problem. He described Johnson as a “great father.”
The traffic accident on Oct. 6 brought them together with a tragic outcome.
Two vehicles collided at North Sylvania Avenue and Dell Street near Enchiladas Ole’ at about 7:30 p.m. that night.
“We all went out to see what had happened,” Enchiladas Ole’ owner Mary Perez told the Star-Telegram last week. Perez said she had known Hague for years, having him clean up around the restaurant from time to time.
Hague was at the scene when Perez arrived.
Hague stood near the accident and then stepped in front of a woman who cursed him, Perez said. Hague cursed back.
Perez said Hague did not have a beer in his hand, but a cup of ice.
“After I heard them cursing at each other, I told Mark to go to the restaurant,” Perez said Wednesday in a telephone interview.
After arguing with Jessica Johnson, Hague was walking away from her when he was confronted by Jeremy Johnson.
“I heard my brother say,’You are not going to talk to my sister that way,’” Jessica Johnson said.
Perez said Wednesday she never heard Jeremy Johnson say anything to Hague.
Johnson is accused of punching Hague and then kicking him in the head as he lay on the ground. He left the scene while Hague was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital and died on Oct. 8.
“There’s a video out there and it shows what really happened,” Perez said. “Let the video tell the story.”
Authorities have not released that video.
Shawn Jones said he drove to the accident scene that night, but he left shortly after seeing Hague.
“I saw Jeremy later and once he found out that I knew Mark he told me he had a message for him,” Jones said. “Jeremy told me to tell Mark, ‘Don’t talk to my sister that way.’”
Jones said he believes Jeremy Johnson was not aware that Hague had gone to the hospital.
A memorial service was held for Hague on Monday night at Enchiladas Ole’.
“He (Jeremy Johnson) had never hit anyone,” Jessica Johnson said. “What he did was self-defense. He feels terrible about it. It was a freak accident.”