LANCASTER – Timothy Johnson and his girlfriend, Jinea Ingram, will stand trial for robbing and killing Lancaster business owner Reed Keith, a judge ruled after a preliminary Thursday.
Keith, 59, was shot multiple times inside his e-Chap Computers and More store on Friday, March 23, 2012. Less than a week after the incident, officials had Johnson, 23, and Ingram, 24, in custody for the crime.
Thursday morning, inside an Antelope Valley courtroom, three witnesses gave testimony on the events leading up to and following the incident that took Keith’s life.
The first witness – John Walter Kimmons – said he was actually inside Keith’s store during the time of the robbery/murder.
Kimmons testified that he had dropped by the store for a visit, and he and Keith were planning on having lunch together that day.
Before this could happen, a Black male charged into the store pulling a ski mask over his face. The man had a gun and was pulling a rolling suitcase, according to Kimmons’ testimony.
“He was saying ‘this is a robbery, get on the floor!’” Kimmons said. The gunman physically pushed him down onto the floor, Kimmons said, but Keith remained standing.
The gunman threatened to shoot Keith if he did not comply, but Keith continued to stand and question the gunman, Kimmons testified.
Kimmons said he began crawling towards the middle of the store, away from the exchange. During this time he heard two gunshots, Kimmons testified.
Kimmons remembers the gunman saying, “You didn’t think I would shoot you, did you?” before hearing another two gunshots in rapid succession, according to his testimony.
After the shooting, the masked man wanted to know where the computers were and if the store had video surveillance, Kimmons testified. He said he told the gunman he was just a customer and that the shop was for computer repair only. The gunman demanded his car keys and began rummaging through the store, Kimmons said.
When the gunman got to the back of the store, Kimmons seized the opportunity to run out of the store. Kimmons said he didn’t actually see the gunman take anything from the store, and since the gunman was wearing a ski mask, he couldn’t describe him in detail.
“I did everything I could not to look,” Kimmons said.
Hours after the incident, authorities tracked the suspected gunman to a home in the 43000 Block of Grange Street in Lancaster.
At about 11 p.m. that night, dozens of deputies contained the neighborhood and surrounded the home (later revealed as the home where Johnson lived with his mother).
But Timothy Johnson was well out of the Antelope Valley by that time, according to testimony Thursday morning from a second witness.
Mercedez Andrea Johnson (no relation to Timothy Johnson), said she was contacted by Timothy in the late afternoon of March 23, 2012. Timothy asked her to pick him up in Lancaster, Mercedez testified.
Asked if Timothy’s voice was frantic, Mercedez said: “He sound regular to me.”
She said she drove Timothy to her place in Los Angeles, where he spent the night. The following morning, Timothy’s image was released to the media as a murder suspect.
Mercedez said she was not aware of this development until the two watched a news broadcast on Saturday, March 24, 2012.
When Timothy saw his face on the news, he said something along the lines of, “I didn’t mean to” or “I messed up,” Mercedez testified.
“I told him you need to leave my house,” Mercedez said. She said Timothy called a relative to pick him up, and she assumed he was headed to the sheriff’s station for questioning.
Around 7 p.m. that evening, Sheriff’s personnel from the gang unit followed Timothy Johnson from a residence in south Los Angeles and then detained him at a traffic stop, officials said at a press conference last year. LASD inmate records show Johnson was arrested for murder around 7:10 p.m., Saturday, March 24, 2012.
Three days after Johnson’s arrest, officials announced they had arrested Ingram, and said that Ingram had driven the getaway car.
Ingram admitted to investigators that she had agreed to drive Johnson to and from a robbery, a third witness testified Thursday morning.
Ingram told investigators she was at Johnson’s home, on March 23, 2012, when Johnson said he was going to do a “hit a lick” (slang term for robbery), according to testimony from Sheriff’s Homicide Sgt. Robert Martindale.
Ingram told investigators she dropped Johnson in a “desert area” near the AV Cardiology building, and then backed into a parking space at a nearby Thai restaurant to wait for Johnson, Martindale testified.
Cameras from the AV Cardiology building captured a man, fitting Johnson’s description. In the video, the man is wearing a grey hooded sweat suit with a green backpack strapped to his back, and lugging a rolling suitcase, Martindale testified.
Ingram told investigators that Johnson jumped into the back seat of her waiting vehicle, vigorously shook her seat and ordered her to “Drive! Drive! Drive!” Martindale testified.
Authorities later served a search warrant at Johnson’s home, where they discovered several laptops affixed with e-Chap Computer repair tags, Martindale said. Detectives also found a green backpack that contained duct tape and Keith’s wallet, Martindale testified.
Defense attorneys for both Johnson and Ingram asked few questions during Thursday’s preliminary hearing. Their motion to dismiss the case was denied, and Ingram and Johnson were ordered to stand trial on all felony counts, including robbery and murder with special circumstances.
Keith’s daughter, Casey Keith, attended the hearing.
“It’s tough,” Casey said, outside the courtroom. “It’s going to be a long process… it’s going to be hard on everyone,” she added.
Ingram and Johnson are due back in court on Friday, March 1, for a second arraignment.
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22 comments for "Pair ordered to trial in Reed Keith murder"
Casey, I first met your father when I took my laptop to be repaired just a few weeks prior to his killing. He was such a kind man and was very helpful to me. When I was finally able to go and get my laptop from being repaired it was too late. He was gone. My prayers continuously go out to you and your family. Justice is being brought to your family and timothy johnson is getting every bit of what he deserves. Your father was a kind hearted man who will rest in complete peace. Love and respect to your family casey.
Casey Keith says
Hi everyone, I am Casey, Reed’s daughter. Please keep the comments clean and respectful. If you were a friend or client of my father’s or mine, please know that he nor I appreciate the negativity. We are a family that rises above the evil and do not want it associated with us.
Thank you to those who joined my family at the court hearing and thank you for the prayers and well wishers. Your kindness honors my family and the memory that still lives within us and our community.
So sorry about the loss of your father. I didn’t know him, but from the story I read about his vigil, he appears to be a hardworking man, well loved by the community.
You are a strong, brave woman as well. Best of luck to you and God bless you!
My condolences and prayers go out to you and your family. May GOD Bless you all. I had the pleasure of meeting your father a few years back as a customer. He was always nice and helpful. He will be missed.
Jinea Ingram got herself a real “catch” with Timothy Johnson. Are those stretch marks on her face, yuck! You’d think he could’ve gotten a better looking accomplice. On second thought, probably not. Losers!
Ha I got you talking right? I totally was being sarcastic in that it is the mentality of the people these days to talk this way. I feel these too if found guilty in a court of law with evidence to support the charges are put in prison for the rest of their lives. Don’t think the death penalty will hold water, too bad. No man trying to make an honest living who stood his ground should pay the ultimate price…Glad to know you feel the same way!!
not funny at all!!! Very disrespectful!
You are so right, making a point not trying to be funny. No one should lose their family to senseless violence….
I bet your some [removed] person. Saying dumb [removed]. Like that go [removed] your sellf!!!
Mr. Reed was a very kind man! When I heard about this awful act of violence towards him I was truly saddened. Its such a shame that all of the bad things in life happen to great upstanding people. Rest in Paradise Mr. Reed && thank you for always being so kind in helping me with my computer issues. I hope these two rot in jail for eternity.
mr Reed Keith was a respectful man ..i hope this to [removed] die in jail [removed] i would love to get my hands on these to [removed]
Anna, you suck!
AV Press, I sure hope you delete that awful comment. I also pray the family does not read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This isn’t the AV Press, tink, but I agree with your sentiment.
Just Beautiful Me says
Very Sad!! I hope these two get what’s coming to them. Life in prison would be a great idea.
OH my another black innocent man and woman getting charged with trumped up charges. How dare they go after these two wonderful people. So what if they killed a white man, he had it coming. He should have given them a computer so they could go on facebook! Let’s hope these two sweet people get off on account of the fact that the cops are racist and wanting to bring the MAN down!!
Here’s to hoping that your kind wakes up one day and realizes you can’t paint an entire community with one brush. Either that or don’t wake up at all. We don’t need your kind in our community. Hopefully no one else responds to your race baiting. I’m already sorry I took the bait. smh!
Please keep SMHing! do it until your head falls off and rolls around on the ground! It is not Anna’s “king” that we don’t need in the community, it is YOUR kind! That is, the “kind” who loves to defend criminals. You guys all love to point the finger at Whitey every single chance you get and when someone dares point back at you, you scream “huh uh! oh no you din’nt! you be raycisss!”
White people are tired of being walked on and are now finally getting a spine. Get used to it!
How do you know that these two people charged are innocent? Were you with them at that time Mr. Reid was shot multiple times? Do you know these people to say that they are “wonderful” Cops that catch murderers are racists? What does color have to do with crime? I think you just need to be [removed].
Calm down, I was being sarcastic I feel the same as you do….
Quartz Hill Resident says
Waste of space Anna… Inappropriate. You intentionally antagonize people over a situation where a man has lost his life and then you say, you’re just kidding. Immature.
Not only immature, but disrespectful to the dead. Sad.