A Waterloo man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing another man at a Cedar Falls party last year. Twenty-one year old Joseph Johnson received the mandatory sentence Thursday morning in Black Hawk County District Court.
The sentencing comes nearly two months after a jury found Johnson guilty of killing 18-year-old Treye Blythe during a party at a Cedar Falls home in August of 2006. During the trial, prosecutors claimed Johnson became upset over a racial slur another person used at the party. Blythe, of Ackley, was later stabbed to death when he tried to break up a fight.
Within an hour after the fatal argument, Johnson allegedly bragged to acquaintances that he stabbed someone, but at the trial, Johnson took the stand in his own defense and claimed he admitted to the stabbing only because others said he did it. Johnson said he had been drinking at the time and realized later it wasn’t the truth. In a brief statement at his sentencing hearing Thursday morning, Johnson maintained his innocence.