Typhenie Johnson’s kidnapper gets life, mother will keep searching
After deliberating for less than an hour on Thursday, a Tarrant County jury found a 35-year-old man guilty of aggravated kidnapping for causing his ex-girlfriend to disappear nearly three years ago. A judge then sentenced him to life in prison.
The trial for Typhenie Johnson’s abductor, Christopher Revill, 35, began Aug. 12.
Deborah Johnson, Typhenie Johnson’s mother, said she cried a little after Revill’s sentence was read. Members of the jury, and Johnson’s other relatives, cheered and hugged in the gallery after the sentencing verdict was read.
“He’s going to be where he needs to be for the rest of his life,” Deborah Johnson said. “He’s never going to hurt another woman again. Another family does not have to go through this because of him. He’s right where he needs to be.”
The jury was sent home late Wednesday after deliberating throughout the afternoon, and completed its deliberations Thursday.
Revill elected to make his sentencing case before State District Judge Christopher Wolfe, who served more than 15 years as an assistant United States attorney and later office branch manager before coming to the Tarrant County bench.
The punishment phase included testimony that linked Revill to a second missing woman.
Deborah Johnson said the family of this second woman is going through the same pain that her family is experiencing and vowed to continue the search for her daughter and Taalibah Islam, the mother of Revill’s child, according to testimony.
A. Gerdes, a Fort Worth Police Department employee who wrote non-emergency police reports, testified that she took a missing person’s report from Revill on Jan. 16, 2006. Revill said Islam, the mother of his child, left their baby with him and then disappeared. Islam got into a car Revill had never seen before and left, Revill told police.
Then, K. Revill, Revill’s sister, took the stand. K. Revill testified that she was sitting in her bedroom at her parents’ house while Christopher Revill, Islam and their baby, just a few months old, were in his bedroom nearby.
Christopher and Islam were in his room having an argument, his sister said. Islam yelled, “You broke my jaw!”
After that she left and was never heard from again, K. Revill said.
No closure, not until we find both girls
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.
Authorities have said they believe Revill killed Johnson, then destroyed or hid her body so she would never be found.
Callaghan, the prosecutor, linked Revill to the Crips street gang and presented evidence that showed he was involved in several other crimes prior to Johnson’s disappearance. One witness described Revill’s tatoos as a walking billboard for the Crips street gang.
“Her [Typhenie Johnson’s] family has been tossed into a dark abyss where they continually must ask, is she lost, is she in pain?” Callaghan said to the court. The defendant’s criminal pattern, his criminal history began long ago. It became more and more violent, more brutal. He was a nightmare long before Typhenie Johnson disappeared.”
Deborah Johnson, who lives in South Dakota, said she will not have closure until both missing women have been located. Deborah Johnson said she expects little help in locating here daughter from Revill. He is only out for himself, Deborah Johnson said.
“It’s a piece of the puzzle but there is no winning until we get those girls home,” she said. “I will keep coming here as long as I need to until she’s found. We have friends here who are more like family who are here to help.”