CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland man received a life sentence with no chance of parole Friday following his conviction in the murders of his ex-girlfriend, her 2-year-old daughter, the couple’s 6-year-old son and a neighbor three years ago.
Authorities said defendant Armond Johnson Sr. had lived with his girlfriend, Takeyra Collins, 25, and planned to get married after Johnson’s March 2019 release from prison, but a month before the slayings she called off the wedding and kicked him out of the house, accusing him of abusing her and threatening her with a gun.
On July 8, 2019, Johnson shot and killed Collins, then set a fire in her house that killed his 6-year-old son Armond Jr. and the boy’s 2-year-old sister, Aubree Stone, according to investigators. Police said he then shot the woman’s neighbor, 35-year-old David Cousin Jr.
A jury spared Johnson’s life after hearing evidence he read only at a fourth-grade level and had suffered childhood abuse and neglect, leading to the life sentences from Cuyahoga County Judge Timothy McCormick.
Defense attorneys had questioned the reliability of DNA and cellphone evidence presented against Johnson and challenged other parts of the investigation.