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Life sentence for woman who killed policeman with his own gun

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Feb 6, 2014 in Crime
Chicago - Robin Johnson, 50, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday for killing Chicago police officer, Richard Francis, with his own gun in 2008.
She maintains that she does not remember what happened the morning Francis was killed and learned of the charges as she recovered in a hospital from multiple gunshots fired by Francis’ colleagues.
Francis, 60, a Chicago police officer with nearly 30 years experience and one year shy of retirement, responded to a bus driver’s request for help with a disturbance involving Johnson and another passenger, at Belmont and Western Avenues, on the city’s north side.
Reportedly, Francis tried to calm an agitated Johnson, but she attacked him, they both fell to the ground and she then grabbed his gun, shooting him in the head.
When other officers appeared on the scene, Johnson continued shooting at them. There were three additional charges of attempted murder, but the jury acquitted her of these. In addition to the natural life sentence, she received 15 years for aggravated discharge of a firearm. They will be served consecutively.
Defense attorney, Kulmeet S. “Bob” Galhotra, described Johnson as a “confused, distressed woman who needed help” during the incident with Francis but did not present evidence of her mental illness during the trial which took place in Oct. 2013.
Galhotra stated Johnson had no previous criminal background, and “She is not your typical cop killer. This is the last woman in the planet who would want to have committed a cop killing.”
There is no dispute that Johnson attacked Francis. She has a reported history of mental illness, epilepsy and psychogenic seizures which cause black outs and aggression.
Her attorney said the gun went off in the struggle and Johnson never intended to kill Francis. Before sentencing, Johnson said, “I am very sorry...I don't remember what happened. I may not like the police, but I don't go around killing them. I feel very sorry for [Francis’ wife]."
But Johnson also told Cook County sentencing judge, Thomas Gainer, “If I did it, I deserve to be in [jail].”
Deborah Francis, widow of the slain officer, said “Our family was completely torn apart by this murder . . . I still can’t attend police functions and memorials because it hurts too much and I get too emotional.” She added, “I cannot forgive her and I will never forget the horrible act.”
More about robin johnson, Richard francis, Chicago, Murder, Police officer
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