April 23, 2014

Judge denies motions in Iowa woman’s death penalty case

A U.S. District Court judge has struck down five different motions challenging the use of the death penalty in the upcoming retrial in the penalty phase in the case of Angela Johnson.

 The 48-year-old Forest City woman is set to go on trial next June to determine whether or not she’ll be sent back to federal death row after her 2005 death sentence on four capital murder counts was vacated by Judge Mark Bennett earlier this year.

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa’s office shortly after that ruling said it would again seek the death penalty against Johnson. Johnson was convicted of helping Dustin Honken kill five people to help cover up evidence in a drug case.

The five, including two children, were found buried in between Mason City and Clear Lake in the fall of 2000. Honken was sentenced to the death penalty for his role in the murders.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City