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Posted on: April 18, 2016

Calah Johnson pleads guilty in Bruce Watkins fatal shooting

For immediate release
April 18, 2016

A Jackson County judge on Monday sentenced Calah Johnson, 35, to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty this morning to the July 17, 2009 fatal shooting of Deanna Lieber, 45,Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

Johnson was scheduled to go on trial today, but instead agreed to plea guilty to the murder. Johnson already is serving time in federal prison for cocaine trafficking.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea after consulting family, who were present Monday to hear Johnson admit his guilt.

According to court records, the shooting into Lieber's vehicle was captured on a red-light camera. Two other vehicles were also seen near the 59th Street intersection on Bruce Watkins Drive. Kansas City Police Department detectives tracked down the vehicles' owners, one of whom said she had loaned the car to Johnson the night of the shooting. According to a witness, Johnson told him he fired the shots. Lieber, who lived near Lawrence, Kan., was leaving the Starlight Theatre with family when she was struck by the gunfire.

For more information, contact:

Michael Mansur
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile: (816) 674-3954

*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.

Johnson PC document
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