Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 18, 2010

JOHNSON HOMICIDE: Murder case takes twist

LOCKPORT — An accused teenage killer says a fellow inmate at the Niagara County jail confessed to him that he was involved in the murder of Ahkenya Johnson.

The teen also says Johnson’s husband, Robert, who has been convicted and sentenced for the slaying is innocent.

At the same time, the teen who reportedly confessed to involvement in the murder, denied making the confession.

The dramatic testimony came Wednesday during a Niagara County Court hearing aimed at deciding whether Robert Johnson’s conviction should be thrown out and whether he should be given a new trial.

Robert Thousand, 17, who is one of two Rochester area teens accused of killing youth counselor Renee Greco in Lockport last June, told County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III that Johnson did not kill his wife. Thousand said a Niagara Falls teen, Thomas Pryor, who he met in jail, told him he and “a friend” were responsible for Ahkenya Johnson’s brutal murder.

“(Pryor) had told me that he and a friend had murdered a lady and they had charged Robert Johnson with that,” Thousand said. “(Pryor) said he wanted to get out of jail fast because he didn’t want anything negative to come back on him.”

Under questioning by Robert Johnson’s defense attorney, Michael McNelis, Thousand said Pryor told him, “his friend had pulled out a knife and cut the lady up.”

“(Pryor and his friend) tried to rob (the Johnson’s’ Jordan Gardens apartment), but stuff went wrong so they came back,” Thousand said. “They knocked on the door and said they were selling school candy bars and when the lady came to the door, they rushed in.”

Thousand said Ahkenya Johnson ran to her kitchen and grabbed a knife and fought with Pryor and his friend. According to Thousand, Pryor said when Johnson kicked his friend in his genital area, he grabbed the knife from her and repeatedly stabbed her.”

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