FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A 48-year-old Fort Worth man who fatally shot his daughter’s mother and wounded the girl’s grandmother has been sentenced to life in prison.
Jurors deliberated about an hour on Thursday before convicting Eugene Esters of murder in the death of Jennifer Johnson, a mother of two who is also the sister of Baltimore Ravens corner back Chris Johnson. Later, the jury deliberated less than two hours before sentencing him to the maximum life in prison.
Esters must serve 30 years before he is eligible for parole.
During the trial in state district Judge Robb Catalano’s court, prosecutors Rhett Parham and Sean Colston presented evidence that Esters and Jennifer Johnson had an on-again, off-again relationship for many years and shared a child together.
On the night of Dec. 4, 2011, Esters slept in his Suburban outside Johnson’s townhouse in the 200 block of Shady Lane. The next morning Esters and Johnson got into an argument as he was moving his stuff out of her townhouse.
Later that afternoon Johnson and her mother, Della Johnson, were outside trying to jump-start Jennifer John- son’s car when Esters pulled up behind both cars, blocking them in.
Moments later Esters got out of his Suburban with a 9 mm handgun and started firing at Johnson, who was shot four times, including in the head and chest.
When Della Johnson began frantically screaming at Esters, he turned and shot Della Johnson in the chest.
Esters later ran into the middle of the street, put a gun to his chin and pulled the trigger. The gun was out of bullets and didn’t fire.
Afterward, Esters stood in the street, holding a Bible up in the air and yelling, “Call 911. There’s been a murder on Shady Lane.”
He later told police, “I’ve already done everything I was going to do. If I hadn’t run out of bullets, we wouldn’t be here.”
During the punishment phase of the trial, prosecutors presented evidence of Ester’s prior felony conviction for theft out of California.