Accused Killer Trial Starts Today

Nearly three years ago, 31-year-old Jennifer Johnson made a last, desperate call for help. Police say she was in the trunk of her car, put there by the father of her child, when she called 911 operators.

“Ma’am, I’m in the trunk right now. (inaudible) took my car. They got me in the car….I don’t know where I’m at,” she’s heard telling the dispatcher.

“Where are you,” the dispatcher is heard asking.

“I don’t know, I’m in the trunk of my car. I’m in my car right now,” she said desperately.

Help never came.

According to court documents, Plant City Police dispatchers said officers were not dispatched because they did not have a location. The call was disconnected a little more than a minute into the phone call. When asked by detectives what the agency’s policy is when it comes to returning 911 calls, the dispatcher said they do not return calls to prevent putting the person in further danger.

Johnson was found dead a few days later on November 18th, 2008 in the garage of a foreclosed home in Lakeland. She had two plastic bags wrapped around head. The medical examiner determined she died of asphyxia.

Today, her accused killer will go to trial in one of two death penalty trials starting today in Tampa.

Brown, turned himself in after learning he had a warrant out for his arrest for violation of probation.

He has pleaded not guilty.


November 15th was supposed to be a day for Jennifer Johnson to celebrate. She spent most of the day before preparing for her 2-year-old daughter’s birthday party.

Receipts found in her abandoned car show she ordered a Dora Explorer cake for her daughter, Je’Neiyce and went to Party City where she bought a party supplies and a piñata.

It was a party she wouldn’t miss for the world, so when she didn’t show up, her family knew something was wrong.

The court documents show her family and friends made several attempts to call her, but she never picked up. They filed a missing persons report.

They suspected Brown had something to do with her disappearance.

Their suspicious were only heightened when they called his cell phone.

This is the voice message they heard “I’m not answering the phone because I am going to be gone. I did what I had to do and now it’s done. You probably won’t see me again. Just don’t forget me.”


The documents also tell us about an alleged confession to a fellow inmate the county jail.

An inmate who shared a lockdown unit with Brown told detectives Brown showed him how he choked Johnson and when she fell unconscious, he threw her in the trunk.

The inmate said Brown then told him “he had to get rid of her” because he “knew she would put him in jail for a long time after what he did to her”.

The documents say Brown told the inmate he saw police around while Jennifer was in the trunk. Not long after that, he found out she had made the 911 call. He allegedly told the inmate, “It was the last mistake she ever made with him.”

The inmate said Brown also expressed concern about DNA evidence, worried about the “like CSI stuff”.

In a disturbing recollection, the inmate said Brown told him “It weird, if felt good to choke that (explicative), like it gave him eternal life. He also said, “He cannot explain the feeling you get when you kill people.”

The last statement in the interview with the inmate, he told detectives Brown said “even if he could, he would not change things.”

The hundreds of pages document several incidents of violence committed by Brown against Johnson, including during her pregnancy with their daughter.

In most cases though, she asked to drop the charges.

The two were seen arguing at a Tampa night club before she went missing.