DA Secures Consecutive Life Sentences for Murderer

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes Unit obtained convictions against a murderer who killed two people while he was attempting to kill his girlfriend.  Ronnie Edward Johnson, 44, pled guilty to two counts of First Degree Murder and one count of Attempted First Degree Murder.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Judge Steve Sword imposed two consecutive life sentences making Johnson eligible for parole after serving one hundred and two years in prison.

In a plea colloquy today, Assistant District Attorney Nate Ogle explained to the Court that on March 21, 2020, Johnson accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and ordered her into his vehicle.  As they were driving down Lovell Road, Johnson told his girlfriend he was going to kill her.  Once in a neighborhood off Lovell Road, Johnson began strangling his girlfriend.  She was able to get away from Johnson and run to the front porch of the home next door.  Johnson tried to run over his girlfriend and crashed into the home.  When the homeowners approached Johnson, he shot and killed the sixty-seven-year-old couple.  Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy McCord responded to the scene, gathered evidence, and interviewed witnesses leading to Johnson’s arrest.

“I hope the resolution in this case brings closure to the family,” said DA Charme Allen.  “Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this case, this defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison.”

A life sentence in the State of Tennessee means a defendant must serve at least fifty-one years in prison before meeting with the parole board.  The life sentences imposed in this case run consecutive to one another meaning that with credit for time already served, Johnson is not eligible to meet with the parole board until the year 2121.   Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Kara Sowards aided in the prosecution of this case.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at dag.knoxcountytn.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.