California teen pleads guilty to killing girl & her parents after caught getting physically intimate in her bedroom. Mauricio Johnson takes plea deal that sees him with possible parole.
A California teenager admitted killing a 16-year-old girl and her parents after the girl’s stepfather caught them sexually intimate in her bedroom, prosecutors said.
Mauricio Eduardo Johnson, 19, pleaded guilty to the three murders on Tuesday after making a deal with prosecutors, which saw the 19-year-old dealt a 150-year prison sentence the Humboldt County district attorney said.
Johnson killed Nikki Metcalf, 40, Margarett Moon, 40, and Shelly Autumn May Moon, 16, on Feb. 9 in their home on the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria Reservation.
Police said Mauricio Johnson first shot the stepfather—who tried to throw him out—then killed the mother and the girl because he didn’t want to ‘have any witnesses.’
The teenager entered the home ‘with the permission of several minors’ who lived there, prosecutors said. But after most of the house had gone to bed, stepfather Metcalf walked into the girl’s bedroom and found Johnson and the girl, according to a warrant cited by lawandcrime.com.
Suspect sought to flee state
‘The male subject [Johnson] was on top of [Shelly]. Nikki Metcalf hit the male,’ the warrant reportedly states. ‘[Johnson] exited the room and walked into the living room pulling up his pants.’
Prosecutors said Johnson then grabbed a handgun from his backpack and shot Metcalf in the head, killing him.
The mother, awakened by the gunfire, was shot next when she walked into the living room. Johnson then shot the girl ‘because he did not want to have any witnesses’.
Johnson then rushed home to get a vehicle and fled the state. He was picked up and arrested on Feb. 11 by troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol who spiked the tires of his SUV when he refused to pull over. He was later extradited to California to face murder charges.
Plea deal vs going to trial
If the case went to trial, Johnson could’ve been sentenced to life in prison without parole, but the DA’s office said in its statement it considered several factors including that ‘a trial would require testimony from young people who have suffered a tragedy.’
Likely changes to California law were another reason cited according to the nypost.
‘On the point about California law, youthful offenders all currently receive a parole hearing in their 25th year of incarceration, unless they are serving life without the possibility of parole,’ the DA statement said.
‘California legislators are seeking to modify the parole eligibility of youthful offenders, so that all would be entitled to a parole hearing regardless of their original sentence. The defendant’s agreed upon sentence would be the maximum sentence he could receive if the law under consideration takes effect.’
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21.