The Monster of Washington Chapter # 2
Nancy Johnson passed away hours before September 28th, 2023. She came to court in April to try to bring her case to justice, but no one wanted to hear her allegations, and authorities just heard what her husband (an experienced person in his family’s suicides) Derek Johnson said about her.
Intimate partner violence and domestic violence killings are a serious public health problem, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
In Semmes, Alabama, the local police department appears indifferent and even annoyed when responding to domestic violence calls. However, a chilling revelation unfolded on September 28th when three lifeless bodies were discovered. Todd Friend, the Sheriff of Semmes Police Department (SPD), exhibited a disturbing bias when confronted with the existence of a Protective Order held by a Hispanic woman against her white husband.
Sheriff Friend seemed incredulous at the idea that a Hispanic woman could have legal protection against her white spouse. Even when the confirmation of an active Protective From Abuse (PFA) order was relayed via radio, Sheriff Friend, instead of taking immediate action, questioned its validity. In a moment captured by the officers’ body cameras at the crime scene, Sheriff Friend, rather than placing the suspect in custody, merely shrugged, casually glanced at his cell phone, and seemingly dismissed the gravity of the situation. This indifferent response raises serious concerns about law enforcement’s commitment to addressing domestic violence and enforcing legal protections, especially when racial and ethnic biases may influence their actions.
So many victims don’t make it out to share their story as we all unfortunately know, and the legal system has got to get it together somehow.Monica N. Conner – DV Survivor in Alabama
During a press conference on September 28, Sheriff Paul Burch of Mobile, Alabama, disseminated several inaccuracies about the Nancy Johnson case. This misinformation stemmed from a deficient investigation, underscoring the system’s dependence on the narrative put forth by Derek Jacob Johnson, the family annihilator in the Nancy Johnson case. Despite the inaccuracies, Sheriff Burch candidly admitted a crucial truth – “Someone Dropped The Ball,” shedding light on a political flaw in the court’s perception of a victim of domestic violence.
Why Someone Could Dropp The Ball
However, upon reviewing statistics and testimonials from individuals affected by domestic violence in Alabama, it becomes evident that if a woman is in a relationship with a white man, the likelihood of receiving attention regarding domestic violence issues is significantly low. This systemic issue appears to have deep-seated roots in the Alabama courts. Such was the case with Nancy Johnson in Judge Honeycutt’s court, where disdain for Protective Orders was palpable. The contemptuous attitude extended to Lisa Box, the guardian ad litem in the custody case for Nancy’s children since April. This pervasive problem raises concerns about the fairness and effectiveness of the legal system in addressing domestic violence, particularly when intersecting with racial and gender dynamics.
In the heart of Alabama’s 13th Judicial Circuit, a judge named Walter H. Honeycutt assumes a position of great responsibility. Appointed by Governor Robert Bentley in 2016 to replace Judge Donald Banks, Honeycutt has become a significant figure in the legal landscape, overseeing cases that touch upon criminal, family law, and personal injury matters.
However, beneath the veneer of judicial duty lies a disturbing pattern that implicates not only Judge Honeycutt but also Ex-Governor Bentley himself. The intricate web of power and indifference to the plight of women and migrants in Mobile and Semmes, Alabama, unravels as we delve deeper into the dynamics of the legal system.
Governor Robert Bentley, once a prominent figure in Alabama’s political landscape, faced a dramatic fall from grace in 2017. Resigning amidst impeachment proceedings and criminal investigations, Bentley’s sexual indiscretions, including an extramarital affair with his top adviser Rebekah Mason, came to light.
Semmesis part of the jurisdiction, it is a well-known fact that Judge Honeycutt often presides over almost all the family matters, where instances of domestic violence are addressed. However, a concerning trend emerges — a tendency to penalize women, perhaps indicative of a broader disregard for the significance of Protective Orders against abuse within law enforcement ranks.
This brings us to the pivotal moment on September 26th when Judge Honeycutt officialy issued an order for shared custody of Nancy Johnson’s children. It is imperative to underscore the Judge’s historical stance on issues related to domestic violence, exemplified by his defense of individuals like Eric Holifield, a convicted rapist in 2015.
What adds another layer of complexity to this narrative is the association between Bentley and Honeycutt. The former governor, despite his personal controversies, played a role in appointing Honeycutt to the judicial position. It raises questions about the values and priorities within the legal system when figures with questionable ethical records are given positions of authority.
Furthermore, the alignment of Bentley’s conservative views, evident in his opposition to same-sex marriage and stringent immigration policies, suggests a broader pattern of insensitivity. Bentley’s decision to lower Confederate flags in 2015 and his reluctance to endorse Donald Trump in 2016 may have appealed to certain political factions but did little to inspire confidence in his commitment to justice.
In the intricate dance of power and influence, it becomes evident that the individuals entrusted with upholding justice may harbor biases that compromise the very principles they are sworn to protect. The interplay between Judge Honeycutt, Bentley, and their shared history raises concerns about the objectivity and fairness of the legal system in Semmes.
As we navigate this web of connections, it becomes clear that the issue extends beyond the confines of a single protective order violation. It is a systemic problem that demands scrutiny, accountability, and a reevaluation of the values that guide those in positions of authority. The lives and safety of individuals, particularly women and vulnerable populations, should never be casualties of a system that fails to prioritize justice over personal biases.
Why Nancy Filed The Divorce
March 2023 – Nancy celebrated her birthday on March 19. That year, she turned 39. Derek’s behavior increased laziness and abusive punishment to all the family under delusional ideas since they moved from Washington in March 2022. Days before Jacob celebrated his second birthday in December 2022, Nancy and the children were suffering from rare symptoms and health deterioration.
During that month March 2023, three significant events occurred.
Days after her birthday, Nancy woke up very ill “too early,” and so did Mia. They both saw barely dressed men in the master bedroom. Hours later, Mia asked Nancy, “Why were those men in the house?” What she confirmed was not just a bad dream, and being undressed that day was more than the physical, mental, and psychological abuse that the husband inflicted on the family. Now it had escalated to sexual abuse.
Later on that month, Mia told Nancy’s Mother “… I want a brick house to prevent her dad from entering”. These words carried much more weight than what had been witnessed until that moment. Nancy discovered that the father had molested Mia since few months after they arrived in Alabama.
Nancy is adamant about keeping Derek away from the children, particularly ensuring he doesn’t come into contact with her daughter, Mia. Derek actively sought interviews, stating to the New York Post, “She didn’t want me to have the kids. The kids were hers, and if she had to share them, she was going to take them with her.”
Although this statement, recorded in a phone call, was wrongly interpreted by the police as a suicidal declaration, its true context became evident when Nancy actively worked since April to relocate the children in a safe place with her, even when they relocated to Utah looking for a restraining order.
April 2023 – In mid-April, upon having freed herself from the control that the estranged husband had exerted over her, her health began to rapidly recover, enabling her to take the initial steps to hire a lawyer to represent her in initiating the divorce that would allow them to break free from this oppression.
During this period, Derek, the estranged husband, liquidated all heavy equipment owned by Johnson Excavation Services, his company. In various interviews, he asserted that he shuttered his business and sold the machinery to facilitate a move to Washington state. His purported motive was to work as a mechanic for Boeing, intending to meet child support and alimony obligations.
As of the time this note was concluded, Boing had not identified or reported any recent employment association with Derek Johnson.
Nancy Initiates The Legal Battle In Honeycutt’s Court
Court records reveal that Nancy filed custody documents on April 19th, expressing her intention to share parenting responsibilities with the estranged husband having supervised conditions for visitation. This arrangement was designed to safeguard the rights and well-being of the children.
On April 19th, as declared by the estranged husband, a pivotal shift occurred. He initiated the sale of all machinery owned as part of his business and simultaneously halted all financial assistance to Nancy and their children. This move marked a significant turning point in the dynamics of their tumultuous relationship.
May 2023 – Events took a turn against her when, in court, she encountered lawyer Lisa Allison Marshal Box with license number 923050442, acting as the court-appointed lawyer and guardian for Nancy’s children, Mia and Jacob. Lisa, is a woman with Baptist roots, limited professional recognition, and little tolerance for dealing with the convincing performance of Nancy’s estranged husband.
Nancy stated that in the early days when they came to Alabama in 2022, and confirmed by testimonies collected from neighbors, the estranged husband never appeared to be more than “a dork”. In cases where Derek’s help was needed for medical emergencies, he never appeared, like when their little 4-year-old girl experienced a seizure in the house across the street, or avoiding going to the hospital when they three had being poisoned and suffering with bad syntomps. Additionally, he was known to discipline his children with physical punishment, and confinements, and would subject them to the darkest and most terrifying part of the backyard as a form of punishment.
This father, capable of lifting his own son, who was less than two years old, by one foot to shake and threaten to throw him headfirst if he didn’t quiet down or obey his commands.
Nobody wanted to hear Nancy’s arguments, and was those days when the court gave full custody to the aggressive and abusive father.
The husband’s defense response portrayed allegations towards his wife falsely accused mental instability, and argued she was a Latina undocumented woman who was seeking immigration benefits at the expense of her marriage situation. That was the solution to beat the accusations of domestic violence with so detailed horrific facts coming from a white and good boy.
Yet, this same father deceived the court by falsely claiming he had a secure place for the kids—an inadequate RV truck with insufficient space for the children. Nancy, in private conversations with her family, disclosed problems related to water and toilet facilities in the said vehicle. This starkly highlights his propensity for dishonesty and utter disregard for the well-being of the children.
Nancy showed evidence that he drugged her and the children. We consider the possibility that Nancy and the children may have been exposed to GHB, aligning with many of the symptoms, including sudden fainting, now understood to be induced comas.
GHB takes effect in 15 to 30 minutes, and the effects can last 3 to 6 hours. Low doses of GHB may result in nausea, while high doses can lead to unconsciousness, seizures, slowed heart rate, significantly slowed breathing, lower body temperature, vomiting, nausea, coma, and even death.
The family hopes that the autopsy will unveil, within the brain structure, liver, kidneys, spinal cord, and other parts of the body, any chemicals that may have been used to drug them three months prior to their passing. It's possible that they were not only exposed to a substance like GHB, and a comprehensive examination could provide insights into the full extent of the substances involved.
She was aware that she needed to escape to a secure location. Drawing on the lessons of her upbringing, she endeavored to find sanctuary in the safest haven she knew. Her quest was for a temporary refuge until she could gather the necessary resources for her next move, all in an effort to safeguard her children.
In her pursuit of this safety, she turned to the bishopric for assistance from her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. However, her estranged husband had already falsely portrayed her as mentally unstable to the bishop. Unfortunately, the Bishop’s judgment and opinion were already biased. He deemed Nancy’s claims of her husband’s control over her life as mere paranoia. Consequently, the Bishop denied the necessary resources to provide her with a safe haven for just a few days. Instead, he suggested she seek refuge help on Penelope’s House.
Was on 6/11/23 when Derek, the estranged husband, knew that Nancy was in Penelope’s House and he went there to claim Nancy was mentally unstable and the personnel from the shelter must give the kids to the father.
Nancy with a firm voice and determination requested to be evaluated by a professional or anybody to confirm if she was or was not crazy or mentally unstable.
After an effective interview with someone in the shelter, this person left the interview room and yield the people not give the children to the father and cast him out from that place.
On 6/12/23, a setup was orchestrated. The trap was set up by Derek’s legal team. Knowing that neither she nor the children were entirely comfortable at Penelope’s House, Nancy and the children were ordered to appear in court. This information was received last minute on 6/14/23, with Nancy being sleep-deprived due to Jacob’s discomfort and her efforts to make him feel reassured within the limitations of living in a shelter those days.
It was on 6/14/23 when, after hearing the information, she left with determination, haste, and little preparation, feeling uncomfortable for not being able to enjoy a shower, let alone get ready properly as she used to. The children were equally uncomfortable and sleep-deprived.
Unfortunately, during this period, Nancy found herself in a situation where her pleas and arguments encountered resistance. It was within these trying days that the court, despite evidence of the father’s aggressiveness and abuse, made the contentious decision to grant full custody to the estranged husband.
On that day, she was informed that she would no longer have custody. Upon receiving the news, she was stunned and immobile for a few minutes, evaluating the situation and reviewing the plans established previously.
She understood in that very moment that it was necessary to run, to catch up with Derek who was about to leave the building. She managed to catch up and said to him, paraphrasing: ‘Is this how you want it to end? I am not willing to leave those I love the most. If I agree to marriage counseling, we can annul the divorce and so I can be with those I love.’ To which he agreed, and his attempt to divorce was immediately annulled. She continued with the children and promptly gathered her things from Penelope’s House.
She never returned home; the resources to leave that place were available, and she embarked on a journey to Utah driven by the impending motion to dismiss the case set for 6/26/23.
After arriving in Utah she hired legal advice from the Lawyer Matthew Olsen, Utah State Bar # 04239, who worked to grant a Protective From Abuse Order.
The next day the case was dismissed in Alabama, and she was in court in Utah, applying for the protection order on 6/27/23.
In Utah, a Protective From Abuse (PFA) order was granted and it was valid as a Hybrid PFA unit one day after she passed away.
The Hearing on September 20, 2023
As well as happened before in Alabama Court preceded by Honeycoutt who ruled that they must live together even when a PFA was active.
Was with help of Walter Honecoutt the judge that once defended rapists like Eric Holifield, that under false arguments from Derek, ordered to Nancy go back to present the children to the court, when on September 16th Nancy was forced to take a flight from utha to Alabama.
Was on September 17th when he assaulted her and when Semmes Police Officers failed to enforce the law, and cause her injuries in her arm in front of her children in violation of the PFA.
This derivates in a Hybrid Protective Order that means that he must surrender any firearm, but he never obey to the court.
On those conditions she went to court where Blake her lawyer had a strategy that included having medical examination and testimonies from Mia and evidence collected in Nancy’s phones, computers and hard drives. Nevertheless the judge notice them that the court will arrange an appointment to discourse the validity of the PFA.
The appointment between Alabama and Utah courts was settled to September 28th, so the official statement from court came until 26th, where derek will have permission to be in the backyard with the RV was granted until October 1st.
The days after the hearing
As the estranged husband knew the Protective From Abuse (PFA) orders were active until officially dismissed by the Utah court, witnesses reported Derek stalking Nancy and leaving Walmart bags and a car seat for little Jacob. Sensing potential violence, Nancy took precautions and prepared everything necessary to escape if needed.
Under Alabama Code 13A-6-132 Domestic Violence 3rd Degree is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a Maximum punishment of up to 1 year in Jail and up to a $6000.00 fine. A second conviction of Domestic Violence 3rd Degree carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 days in jail, and a third conviction is a Class C felony. Derek only got one night in jail, and under his own words a job offer.
On the 21st, two days after Derek’s release from jail, he actively sought people who could corroborate his future allegations. Intentionally reaching out to Bishop Michael Parker from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CoJCoLDS) via FaceTime, Derek asserted his purported plan to fly to Washington state on the 22nd to retrieve the RV, which was presumably located in Florida. The absence of witnesses in Washington raises doubts, while several people saw him just days before the tragic family annihilation.
Those actions encourage the predator and estranged husband to violate constantly the PFA and that was the allegation that he made days after the Nancy’s family raised their voices against all the interviews Derek request days before rising crowfounding for paying taxes and pay remodeling the house.
Even today Sheriff Todd Friend and Sheriff Pual Burch Believes the PFA was inactive, and even lie to the Guatemalan Embassator to avoid future investigation saying that the PFA was inactive, but court records shown something different. They denied to Guatemala Embassator Archila to involve FBI arguing that it already was dismissed days before Nancy, Mia and Jacob were killed.
Even September 25th court records shown how Utah’s court ordered Continuing Temporary Protective Order. All this vices in the system make Alabama a unsafe pace for a woman who looks justice against Domestic Violence. The only step authorities had taken was order to Police Officers to do a assessment to those who are involved in Domestic Violence.
And this is not the end of this… there are much deeper to show in this case.