What to Know
- Ernest Johnson broke into his ex-girlfriend's D.C. apartment and attacker her, her boyfriend and her grandmother.
- His ex-girlfriend initially was paralyzed and still frequently needs to use a wheelchair.
- Johnson was caught in Baltimore and pleaded guilty after admitting to the stabbings.
A judge sentenced a Maryland man to 39 years in prison for brutally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend and her grandmother in her Washington, D.C., home, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
About 4:30 a.m. Aug. 15, 21-year-old Ernest Johnson, formerly of Baltimore, entered his ex-girlfriend’s Northeast apartment through the balcony door, according to government evidence. He first attacked her 75-year-old grandmother in her bedroom, choking her until she lost consciousness and stabbing her back, head and neck.
Next he went into the room where his 24-year-old ex-girlfriend was sleeping with her new boyfriend and locked the door behind him, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He stabbed the woman about 30 times in the back, chest and other parts of her body and stabbed her boyfriend several times in the head, piercing his skull with a knife.
Johnson fled when two people sleeping in the living room broke in through the locked door to help, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. One of them struck Johnson with a vacuum cleaner to stop the attack.
Police recovered two knives at the scene.
Johnson’s ex-girlfriend suffered severe spinal cord damage that initially paralyzed her, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She spent almost two months in the hospital, and though she regained some motor skills, she frequently needs to use a wheelchair.
Her boyfriend was released after two days but returned to the hospital several days later when he began to have seizures. He continues to have memory issues and headaches.
Her grandmother was hospitalized for more than a week, unable to ingest food or drink through her mouth for most of that time.
Authorities found Johnson in Baltimore shortly after the attack, and he confessed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
He pleaded guilty in October to three counts of assault with intent to kill while armed.