Fort Worth

Ex-Crowley special education teacher sentenced in 2017 killing of his wife in their home

A former Crowley special education teacher was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 years in prison for shooting to death his wife at their home in 2017.

As part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Sean Johnson of Edgecliff Village pleaded guilty Tuesday to murder in the fatal shooting of his wife Michelle Johnson on April 22, 2017. His wife also had been a special education teacher in the Crowley school district.

Michelle Johnson whose body was found in a bedroom at their home in the 2100 block of Cliffside Drive died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to a ruling by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

“The murder of Michelle Johnson has been felt in our community by her students, fellow faculty, friends and family,” said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Art Clayton in a Tuesday email. “Her work with disabled children was amazing. This agreement was reached through meeting with and discussions with her family. By reaching this agreement, the family can go forward without having to relive that horrible day through the process of a trial.”

Sean Johnson never gave a motive for the slaying, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Michelle Johson’s mother and one of her daughters gave victims statements Tuesday morning, noting that she had wanted a divorce.

Christy Jack of Fort Worth, Sean Johnson’s attorney, said Tuesday the couple had a tenuous relationship at best.

“Who knows what truly goes on behind closed doors between a husband and a wife-what wounds are inflicted, what words are spoken that can’t be taken back,” Jack said in a Tuesday email. “With Sean’s history of mental illness, this was not a simple case and everyone recognized this.”

Sean Johnson told a dispatcher about the slaying on April 22, 2017 while he was on a cellphone driving down a highway and said he was pulling over in the parking lot of Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, where he would await authorities.

Deputies with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department went to the couple’s Edgecliff Village home and found Michelle Johnson dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

A baseball bat and a handgun were found in the home, according to a search warrant obtained by the Star-Telegram.

Michelle Johnson worked with dozens of blind and visually impaired children across the Crowley school district in her 20 years there, sometimes starting when they were still infants.

michelle johnson.jpg
Michelle Johnson was a special education teacher in the Crowley school district. Courtesy: Friends of Michelle Johnson

“The devastation in the lives of not only her children and family but to her co-workers and students is unimaginable,” said Stacie Reynolds, whose granddaughter was taught by Johnson beginning when she was just 3 weeks old. Reynolds spoke about Michelle Johnson in a 2017 interview with the Star-Telegram. “This is not only a tremendous loss for her friends and family, but to all of the blind and visually impaired children in Crowley ISD.”

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

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