Johnson sentenced for 2017 stabbing | Prosecutor’s Office releases statement

Thursday, July 26, 2018

On Monday, July 23, Roger W. Johnson was sentenced to 15-year and 10-year prison sentences for the Jan. 5, 2017, stabbing death of Trecca Lou Powell, for charges of assault in the first degree and armed criminal action, according to a press release from the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The release stated that after surgery to repair two stab wounds inflicted by Johnson, Ms. Powell was briefly released from a Columbia hospital before being readmitted for treatment of a massive infection that eventually caused her death on March 6, 2017. At Johnson’s guilty plea, Prosecutor Don Stouffer told Circuit Judge Dennis Rolf that medical records arguably established that the wounds inflicted by Johnson were not fatal but that a small intestinal wound was not repaired, causing the infection.

In a release following the plea, Stouffer said that Ms. Powell called the police when Johnson, a distant friend of the family, became intoxicated. Johnson was permitted to temporarily live in an unused bedroom in Ms. Powell’s home, in Marshall, but was not permitted to have alcohol in her home. She told police that she was afraid because Johnson became violent when intoxicated. After the officers interceded with Johnson, Ms. Powell assured the police that Johnson had not harmed her and she would call if he came out of his room.

Less than 45 minutes later, an emergency call was placed by a passerby who related that he had a woman with stomach wounds in his pickup. He said that the woman ran from the Powell home on North Street and was bleeding profusely. Ms. Powell told the passerby that Johnson became enraged when she found his stash of alcohol and poured it down the sink.

Stouffer said that Ms. Powell provided a safe haven for Johnson to stay as a favor to other family members. In return, Johnson violently assaulted her, resulting in 60 days of suffering before her death. Stouffer indicated that no amount of time in prison will bring back this caring, loving mother and good Samaritan, however, Stouffer hopes the resolution will provide closure for the family.

Stouffer added that according to current Missouri law, Johnson will serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

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