DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The former Farmers Branch police officer convicted of murdering a teenaged burglary suspect in 2016 is in court waiting to learn his fate.
It was last month when Ken Johnson was found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Jose Cruz. Sitting on different sides of the courtroom today were Johnson’s family and friends and members of Cruz’ family and those testifying painted very different pictures of the former officer.
First on the stand was Cruz’ 16-year-old sister, then the teenager’s mother, Ana Henriquez, went before the court but was quickly overcome with emotion. The judge called for a brief break after the woman broke down on the stand. When the trial resumed she spoke of how hard it’s been for her family since her son was shot. Henriquez told the jury that she’s not mad at all police officers — just the officer who killed her son.
Ken Johnson’s mother and ex girlfriend were among those testifying in his defense, both saying he was a good person and a family man with a big heart.
Before the lunch hour Johnson took the stand in his own defense, telling the jury about his background in public service and detailed some of his time in the military serving overseas.
Ken Johnson is facing a possible life sentence for Cruz’ murder. It was in March of 2016 when Johnson, who was off-duty at the time, saw someone burglarizing a vehicle at an apartment complex. When two suspects, including Cruz, took off at a high rate of speed, Johnson went after them in his own vehicle.
After a car chase that ended at a gas station Johnson fatally shot Cruz and wounded the passenger in the car.
Attorneys for both the prosecution and defense told CBS 11 News testimony the sentencing phase of Johnson’s trial might not be wrapped up until tomorrow.