The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a Forest City woman’s petition to review her convictions and sentences for her role in the drug-related murders of five people. A federal jury convicted 41-year-old Angela Johnson in May 2005 on five counts of murder in furtherance of a drug conspiracy, and continuing a criminal enterprise.
The jury determined Johnson should be executed for the premeditated murders of Lori Duncan, Duncan’s two daughters, and Terry DeGeus in the summer and fall of 1993. She was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her role in the murder of a fifth victim, Greg Nicholson. The victims were found in 2000 buried in shallow graves in rural Mason City.
Johnson’s boyfriend, Dustin Honken, was convicted of the same murders and sentenced to death, with his latest appeal still pending. Johnson will have one year to file a petition for post-conviction relief, a form of constitutional challenge to her convictions and sentences. The U.S. Department of Justice will not schedule an execution date until Johnson exhausts any such challenge.
Johnson’s death sentence was the first time in over 50 years a female had been sentenced to death in federal court. She’s being held in a federal prison in Fort Worth Texas, while Honken is on federal death row in Terre Haute Indiana.