LANCASTER – A 26-year-old man was handed two life sentences in connection with a robbery that turned into a homicide at a Lancaster computer store two years ago.
Timothy Jerode Johnson was sentenced in an Antelope Valley courtroom Thursday for robbing and killing 59-year-old Reed Keith at his e-Chaps Computer Store on March 23, 2012.
Around 4 p.m. that day, Johnson entered the store wearing a ski mask and ordered Keith and a friend onto the floor at gunpoint, according to court testimony. Keith’s friend got on the floor, but Keith refused the gunman’s orders and was shot in the knee, chest and head. Johnson then stole computers from the store, along with Keith’s wallet. Johnson also snatched car keys and a cell phone from Keith’s friend, who managed to escape unharmed as Johnson was rummaging the store.
Johnson fled the scene in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Jinea Ingram. Later that night, authorities recovered the stolen computers and Keith’s wallet from Johnson’s mother’s home in Lancaster.
Johnson was arrested the next day, as he left another girlfriend’s apartment in Los Angeles. Three days later, his getaway driver, Ingram, was also arrested. Both were charged with special circumstances murder and robbery.
After more than two years of court delays, Ingram pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter on May 6. Ingram also agreed to testify against Johnson, and her remaining charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal. She was sentenced on Aug. 14 to 21 years in state prison. [Read more here.]
On Aug. 1, a jury found Johnson guilty of first-degree murder with a special circumstance allegation that the killing was committed during a robbery and two counts of second-degree robbery. [Read more here.]
Johnson initially faced life in prison without the possibility of parole. His sentence was doubled at the hearing Thursday after Johnson admitted to a prior “strike” conviction for a 2008 robbery.
Johnson received two consecutive life without the possibility of parole sentences and an additional 25 years-to-life term, according to Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Chung of the Hardcore Gang Division.
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