9 January 2019

Liberia: Boyfriend Killer Gets 25-Yr Sentence

Johnette Pinky Abu earlier explained in court that on several previous occasions, she was beaten by Morris Johnson and cited an example where she had to leave his residence and seek refuge at one of her friend's place.

Criminal Court 'A' Judge Roosevelt Willie has sentenced Johnette Pinky Abu, a lady who killed her boyfriend in the S.K.D. community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia to 25 years sentenced at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Pinky Abu, 26, killed her boyfriend, Morris Johnson, on June 14, 2018, at her S. K. D. Sports Complex community residence in Paynesville with a kitchen knife.

In his final ruling on Monday, January 7, 2019, Judge Willie said that Pinky Abu will serve 22 of the 25 years behind bars, and three years on parole based on good behavior.

Judge Willie said the issue of the weapon or the criminal object that was used to stab the deceased is not in dispute, because all of the witnesses testified that it was the knife that she used to kill Johnson.

Judge Willie said the law forbids that because the principles of self-defense, battered women syndrome are affirmative defenses.

"Meaning that you go to the court and say that yes I did it. You cannot say the jury erred, because the jury did not consider these principles. Therefore, the defendant Pinky cannot say or cannot use the principles of self-defense, battle women's syndrome and heat of passion and at the same time, say that she did not stab Johnson which led to his death," the judge said.

The prosecutors and defense counsels have already taken exception against Judge Willie's ruling to the Supreme Court.

The government lawyers are arguing that the law is clear that the punishment for murder is lifetime imprisonment or death by hanging, while the defense team plans to take an appeal against the Judge's decision before the Supreme Court.

Johnette Abu and the late Morris Johnson

Pinky earlier explained in court that on several previous occasions, she was beaten by Morris Johnson and cited an example where she had to leave his residence and seek refuge at one of her friend's place. She said while there, a meeting was held with her father in attendance during which time Johnson begged her and she returned home to him.

Defendant Pinky also stated that at one point, Johnson sent her a threatening message, during which time he stated that if he came back from Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, and met her at his residence, he would kill her, the baby and himself.

She said it was this threat that made her to leave his residence, lease an apartment at the SKD Sports complex and, by her departure, she understood that the love relationship never again existed.

However, Johnson and defendant rekindled their relationship to the extent that defendant was relaxed until the night of June 14, 2018, when the incident leading to his death occurred.

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