Jurors on Wednesday convicted a 71-year-old Long Beach man of murdering his roommate in 2020 and sexually assaulting another woman that had just moved into their assisted-living home in West Long Beach.
Authorities say that on June 3, 2020, Kerry Johnson, then 69, sexually assaulted a neighbor that had just moved into the 1800 block of West 25th Street. Shortly after, prosecutors said, he killed his 66-year-old roommate.
After a trial that lasted two weeks, jurors deliberated for about three days before coming to a verdict and finding Johnson guilty of one count of first-degree murder, said Tatevik Tigranyan, a spokesperson with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The jury also found true the special allegation that he committed the murder while engaging in the act of sodomy, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In addition to the murder conviction, Johnson was also found guilty of one count of sodomy against a separate victim, Tigranyan said, adding a court trial was also held on his prior offenses and those “were found true by the judge.”
Prosecutors say that before Johnson killed his roommate, he sexually assaulted another woman that had just moved into the facility that day. But the woman’s caregivers didn’t report the crime until after Johnson’s roommate was found dead, prosecutors said.
A few days later, police determined the 66-year-old woman had been murdered and tied the crime back to Johnson.
Evidence at the time revealed the woman had been sexually assaulted and suffered major trauma to her upper torso, according to the Long Beach Police Department, leading Johnson to be charged with one count of murder and one count of sexual assault. He’s remained jailed without bail ever since his arrest.
Johnson is due back in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on April 18 for sentencing.
Long Beach could start processing concealed weapons permits as soon as mid-April