Minnesota ex-con charged with killing wife

Jan. 9, 2013 at 3:28 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Minnesota man who spent nearly 12 years in prison for rape has been accused of killing and dismembering his wife.

Steven Johnson was to appear in Ramsey County Court Wednesday after being charged with second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Manya Johnson Sunday.

Police arrested Johnson, 34, after receiving a tip that his wife had been killed and her dismembered body left under a blanket in a garage. Johnson confessed he had shot his wife in the head when she threatened to take their 17-month-old son and leave him the previous day, KARE-TV, St. Paul, reported.

Her body has been dismembered with a saw in the shower and the pieces placed in storage bins inside a friend's garage in White Bear Lake, KARE said.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press said Johnson told a neighbor he had asked a friend to rent him a portable storage unit. The friend, who served prison time with Johnson, reportedly is cooperating with investigators.

Johnson served 12 years in state prison for a 1996 rape and was released in 2008. He married his wife the next year and seemed to be building a new life buying home in St. Paul and fathering a son, the newspaper said.

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