Savannah man sentenced to life for wife's 2009 murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah man sentenced to life for wife's slaying

Robert Johnson Robert Johnson
Mary Ellen Johnson Mary Ellen Johnson

A 71-year-old man was convicted on Thursday of the 2009 murder of his wife.

Robert Mumford Johnson was found guilty on one count of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault in the death of his wife Mary Ellen "Bootsie" Johnson, 66, a longtime city of Savannah employee.

On the morning of Oct. 31, 2009, Johnson and his wife were involved in a domestic dispute at their home on Ben Kell Road in Coffee Bluff.

Johnson had become physical with his wife and strangled her, according to the Chatham County District Attorney's Office. Their son, Timothy Johnson, 20, called family members in the area about the fight and asked for help. The victim's brother, Nathaniel Harris, was the first to get to the home.

Mary Ellen Johnson told her husband that she called the police and was waiting for them to arrive. Johnson then went into the home, got a Winchester .30‐30 rifle and shot her in the chest, according to the district attorney's office. He then took off in their SUV. Police took him into custody a few minutes later at a gas station on White Bluff Road.

Johnson was sentenced to life (with the possibility of parole) for the murder, with an additional 10 years to run concurrently for the charge of aggravated assault. Johnson was found not guilty of a second count of aggravated assault against his brother‐in‐law Nathaniel Harris.

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