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Johnson pleads guilty to murder, rape of former Saline County residents

Monday, March 4, 2013

Theopolis Johnson II, right, is escorted by Carroll County Sheriff at an April, 2012, hearing at the Carroll County Courthouse.
(File photo)
A Carroll County man accused of raping and murdering two former Saline County residents entered a guilty plea Monday, March 4, in the 8th Circuit Court.

According to a news release from Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Cassandra N. Brown, Theopolis Johnson II pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree statutory rape.

Johnson admitted to the murders of Kristin Howery, her daughter, Kayla Cowan, and Cowan's unborn child, Brown said. He also admitted to having sex with a child under the age of 14 on two occasions, she said.

Johnson was sentenced to four life sentences. Each of the sentences on the murder charges will be served without the possibility of parole, according to Brown.

"Justice has been served today," Brown said. "However, this cannot fill the voice left by the loss of a loved one. Therefore, my thoughts and prayers go out to the familyo and friends of Kristin Howery and Kayla Cowan."

Brown said the plea was made possible by the investigave work of the Carroll County Sheriff's Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team.

She specifically cited the work of Sheriff Troy Hofstetter, Sgt. Greg Martin and Derrick Balmer in helping achieve the Johnson's conviction.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com

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