Crime

Jury to resume deliberations in kidnapping case for woman missing almost three years

Families of missing women plead with FWPD to keep searching

Typhenie Johnson and Taalibah Islam disappeared 10 years apart, but they both had connections to Christopher Revill, who was arrested last week on suspicion of kidnapping in Johnson's case. Their families came together at a news conference to ask
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Typhenie Johnson and Taalibah Islam disappeared 10 years apart, but they both had connections to Christopher Revill, who was arrested last week on suspicion of kidnapping in Johnson's case. Their families came together at a news conference to ask

Police and family members are still looking for Typhenie Johnson, a 21-year-old woman who authorities say was kidnapped.

The trial for Johnson’s suspected abductor, Christopher Revill, 35, began Aug. 12. The jury was sent home late Wednesday, and will continue their deliberations Thursday.

Defense attorneys representing Revill told the jury in their closing arguments that prosecutors did not present enough evidence to convict the suspect of aggravated kidnapping, while assistant district attorneys for Tarrrant County argued that the pieces of evidence that proved the crime were all there, but the jury had to put them together.

Should the jury find Revill guilty of aggravated kidnapping, he could be sentenced to a maximum of life or 99 years in prison.

“The state has the burden of proof,” said Marquetta Clayton, one of the lawyers representing Revill. “Revill is not required to give you any evidence.”

The state’s case lacked the evidence needed to meet the reasonable doubt standard, Clayton said.

“The state would need a lot more evidence to prove that Mr. Revill removed Johnson,” Clayton said.

Johnson was last seen on Oct. 10, 2016, outside her apartment in far east Fort Worth with Revill, her ex-boyfriend.

Revill was arrested and placed in the Tarrant County Jail shortly after Johnson’s disappearance and has been awaiting trial on the kidnapping charge ever since. Prosecutors painted a picture of Revill as a scorned man, who would not let go of the idea that he and Johnson were meant for one another.

The month before Johnson disappeared, Revill wanted to marry her, but Johnson had become wary of her former boyfriend, said Lisa Callaghan, Tarrant County prosecutor.

“He had more than 200 photos of her,” Callaghan said. “He was constantly degrading or manipulating her. Why do you think Typhenie was concerned about Russell [Johnson’s new male friend] being there. She knew there would be trouble if he [Revill] came face to face with another man. He was upset. He was obsessed with her. He was not going to let her go.”

On the day of her disappearance, Johnson had invited Russell Brown, a new friend, to her apartment. On the same day, Revill came by the apartment to watch football on television with Johnson’s twin brother, Asher Johnson, according to witness testimony.

When Revill did not return to the apartment, Johnson’s brother went outside to look for her and saw Revill close the trunk of his car and drive away, according to witness testimony.

Fort Worth police said they later found Johnson’s car keys in the parking lot and her sock and cellphone where Revill had been parked. Once Johnson’s brother contacted police, Revill returned to the apartment complex after a long absence, according to law enforcement.

Police say that Revill evaded their questions regarding Johnson’s whereabouts and was evasive about what happened to Johnson since her disappearance.

Authorities have said they believe Revill killed Johnson, then destroyed or hid her body so she would never be found.

But the lead attorney representing Revill, Lesa Pamplin, said there was a window of time when Johnson was alone, and that fact was corroborated by her brother’s testimony.

“The state put forward a very incomplete case,” Pamplin said. “Sloppy police work.”

Revill has also been linked to the disappearance of another young woman, Taalibah Islam, who Revill reported missing in January 2006.

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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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