Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

April 7, 2013

Murder solicitation suspect arraigned

No trial date set


Burleson resident Tab Denny Johnson was arraigned on two counts of solicitation of capital murder Friday morning in the 249th District Court. Johnson County District Attorney Dale Hanna said no trial date has been set for Johnson.

Senior District Judge C.C. “Kit” Cooke handled Friday’s arraignments, filling in for 249th District Judge Wayne Bridewell.

Johnson, 52, allegedly attempted to hire someone to kill his estranged wife and her male friend while being held at the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center on other charges.

Johnson was reportedly quite surprised to learn that the “hitman” he spoke with several times on the phone was actually Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford.

Burleson police arrested Johnson on Nov. 23 after Fort Worth police responded to the address of Johnson’s estranged wife to find the passenger area of her vehicle on fire. The estranged wife identified Johnson as a suspect and her son told police he saw Johnson’s pickup on the street shortly before the fire, according to a Burleson Police Department search warrant affidavit.

Later that same day, Johnson’s estranged wife called Burleson police from an apartment complex on Renfro Street to report a violation of an earlier protective order, which prohibited Johnson from coming within 200 yards of her.

The wife, who had an appointment that day to sign a lease at the apartment, told police she saw Johnson walking around the complex’s parking lot, that he walked about 10 feet from her vehicle, made eye contact and stared at her before getting into his truck and driving away.

While the wife described the incident to a BPD sergeant, Johnson drove by the apartment complex again, according to the affidavit, well within bounds of the 200 yard limitation. The sergeant conducted a traffic stop and detained Johnson who, according to the affidavit, claimed he had an appointment to discuss renting an apartment at the complex.

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