Thomas Johnson, a former football player at Texas A&M, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday morning.
According to the Dallas Morning News, it took less than a half hour for a jury to convict Johnson in the Oct. 12, 2015 murder of 53-year-old David Stevens, who was jogging along White Rock Creek Trail in East Dallas. Johnson confessed to the crime — a brutal attack with a machete — upon being apprehended.
Multiple witnesses testified that Johnson, in the moments after the attack, was acting erratically and asked to use their cell phone. Johnson, who was given a cell phone by a Dallas Parks and Recreation worker, called 911 and told the operator he came across the body on the trail and needed to “do something” about it.
Parks and Recreation employees became suspicious when they spotted blood on the pants of Johnson, who led them to the body. Johnson confessed to the crime at the scene.
According to NBC 5, Stevens was brought to a local hospital at 8:30 a.m. and the machete was “imbedded in Stevens’ skull.” He was pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m.
The trial was delayed as Johnson’s attorneys argued his mental competency. Johnson was found unfit to stand trial in 2016 and sent to a mental hospital. Last year, however, that decision was overturned and he was found fit to stand trial. Johnson, according to relatives, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2014.
At Tuesday’s trial, Johnson’s defense “did not call a single witness after prosecutors rested their case,” per the Dallas Morning News.
Johnson was a star recruit at Skyline High School in Dallas who signed with Texas A&M in the class of 2012. Johnson had 30 catches for 339 yards and one touchdown before going missing in November 2012. He was found safe a few days later but never returned to the team.
Johnson, who has yet to be sentenced, is facing up to life in prison.
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