Crime

Twin brother testifies that his sister’s suspected kidnapper was jealous, controlling

The search for Typhenie Johnson continues in Fort Worth

Police continued to search for the missing woman in the Sandy Lane Park area of east Fort Worth.
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Police continued to search for the missing woman in the Sandy Lane Park area of east Fort Worth.

Family members are still looking for Typhenie Johnson, a young woman who disappeared on Oct. 10, 2016, and was never heard from again.

Testimony in the trial of the man accused of making Johnson disappear, Christopher Revill, began Wednesday.

Revill is accused of kidnapping Johnson and driving away from the apartment they once shared. Authorities believe that Johnson was disabled in some way and stuffed into the trunk of a car Revill later drove to his parents’ home, according to opening statements made by Lisa Callaghan, Tarrant County prosecutor.

Earlier on the night that she disappeared, Johnson was trying to avoid an awkward situation, her roommate, Jessica Smith, testified.

Her ex-boyfriend, Revill, was visiting the apartment at the same time Johnson was planning to entertain a new male friend, Smith said. Johnson was cooking dinner for Russell Brown, a man she met about two weeks prior, when Revill came to the apartment to watch football with Johnson’s brother, Smith testified.

Revill and Johnson communicated, talked, messaged each other, but Smith no longer considered the two of them to be in a relationship. Revill had become friendly with Johnson’s twin brother, Asher, by then. And when Revill came over, he came to visit Johnson’s brother, not her, Smith said.

It seemed that Revill was at the apartment much too often for her taste, Smith testified.

“I felt it was kind of weird that he was over there,” Smith said.

Asher Johnson told the jury that Revill constantly asked him for information about his sister.

“He [Revill] asked if she was cheating or if she was seeing anyone else to let him know,” Johnson’s brother said. “He was jealous. He was controlling.”

Asher Johnson testified that he did not have any information about his sister and he told Revill that. His sister wanted to meet her new friend at the gates of the apartment to keep the two men from meeting, Asher Johnson said. His sister did not want there to be any conflict, the brother said.

Smith said the awkward situation, with Revill being at the apartment and Johnson’s new friend Brown being on his way, was happening, so Johnson went to the store.

“She was just trying to find an excuse to get out of the house,” Smith said.

Later that evening, all five of them were at the apartment, according to Smith’s testimony. Brown, Smith and Asher were inside the apartment and Revill was downstairs talking to Johnson, who was having a problem with her car, Smith said. Revill came upstairs, collected his things and then left. Smith took a shower and when she returned to her friends, found that no one had seen Johnson.

Her friends went outside to look for her and found her cell phone and an ankle sock, which Smith said she believed Johnson may have been wearing. Smith testified later that her friends found Johnson’s keys on the roof of her car.

About 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Tarrant County prosecutors played the 911 call that Smith made soon after Johnson’s cell phone was found outside behind her apartment building.

“I panicked. It just didn’t feel right after finding all that stuff,” Smith said.

“My friend is missing,” the 911 recording said. “It’s been an hour. We found her phone and a sock.”

Johnson was last seen downstairs, Smith told the dispatcher. She was talking to her ex-boyfriend.

“Her [Johnson’s] keys were on top of her car,” according to the 911 recording. “Her cell phone was in the back of the apartment. And his car was backed up in the back of the apartment. He was parked in the grass.”

Revill’s defense attorney, Lesa Pamplin, told the jury during her opening statements that authorities reached several conclusions following their initial investigation.

“Conclusions were made and pursued in a vacuum,” Pamplin said. “We will show you how faulty each of those conclusions were.”

Revill and Johnson sent each other text messages the day she went missing, Pamplin said. But Johnson was also communicating by text with the mechanic who worked on her car, Pamplin said.

And no one actually knows what Johnson was wearing on the night that she went missing, Pamplin said.

Callaghan told the jury that they would be required to pay attention during this trial because everything is important.

“Listen to every single fact,” Callaghan said.

Testimony is expected to continue in Revill’s aggravated kidnapping case Thursday, and last into the coming week, according to a court official.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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