JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The neighbor of a woman stabbed seven times in her Lackawanna-area home in June of 2019 has been charged with premeditated murder.
Last week, a grand jury convened and indicted Darnell Eugene Johnson, 26, on first-degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Shirley Blakely.
The arrest report states that the reported crime may have been motivated by Johnson's belief that Blakely had placed a voodoo curse on him.
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In addition to first-degree murder, Johnson is also charged with criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, not having a driver's license, as well as second-degree murder.
Johnson was initially arrested for destroying the video system in a JSO interview room that he was being questioned in following the woman's death
According to the arrest report, on June 5, officers responded to the 2500 block of Heaverbrook Place in reference to a dead person.
Police say upon arrival they discovered that a woman, later identified as Blakely, had been stabbed multiple times in her back bedroom.
Police say Blakely was on the phone with her best friend when she was attacked. Her friend reached out to Blakely's son who lives on the same street and informed him there may be something wrong at his mother's home. The report says when Blakely's son arrived he found his mother bleeding to death.
Her son told police he asked "who did this to you?" and she pointed at the home where Johnson lives. The family says she also uttered Johnson's nickname 'Bam' before dying moments later.
Police then made contact with Johnson's mother who called initially the police due to her son's erratic behavior. She told police he was pacing the floor and said that the neighbor had 'voodoo' on him.
She told police she lost track of him for a period of time and later found him walking along the road near Commonwealth Avenue calling 'momma'.
Police say the location where Johnson was picked up was directly behind Blakely's house.
Family members of Blakely previously told First Coast News that they always believed Johnson was the person responsible for her death and said that “somebody killed her because they say she put a curse on them because she listened to religious music on her porch.”
The family says Johnson had also shot at the home days before Blakely's death.