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STOCKTON, California, April 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have released additional information about the apprehension of Albert Enoch Johnson, the suspect wanted after the shooting deaths of a West Jordan husband and wife early Saturday.
Albert Enoch Johnson, 31, was wanted in connection with the deaths of Katherine and Tony Butterfield, ages 30 and 31. The Butterfields’ three children, age six months to 4 years, were found unhurt in the residence, which showed signs of forced entry.
Johnson’s apprehension came at about 2 a.m. Wednesday in Stockton, California, Sgt. J.C. Holt said at a news conference on Wednesday. Tips placed him in that city, and he was arrested by police there and U.S. Marshals stationed in California, with assistance from Utah-based U.S. Marshals, Holt said.
“We worked with the U.S. Marshal Service exclusively,” Holt said. “We got some good information and tips on where he was, and he was apprehended in the early morning hours this morning.”
Holt noted bruising to Johnson, visible in his booking photo.
“It’s obvious that he has some injuries to his face,” he said. “Just to kind of let you know how the arrest went down, Mr. Johnson did try to evade officers, Mr. Johnson did try to escape officers and he did resist arrest. We regret that he made that decision, however we are grateful that no officers were injured his apprehension, that he’s safely into custody. But I mean, you can see that he has some injuries to his face. We do believe those are related to arrest actions.”
“We kind of thought we may be up against that, frankly,” Holt said, regarding the rough apprehension,” when we had information develop that he was a person we needed to talk to and he was really avoiding contact with us.”
The car Johnson was believed to be driving was also located, Holt said, adding he did not yet have information regarding whether Johnson had any knife wounds the assailant was believed to have suffered at the scene.
Holt said Johnson was traced to California through some credible leads, and it was not a random apprehension.
“We did develop information and we knew where he was,” he said, adding that details will not be released in order to protect those who provided tips.
“It’s obvious to us that he (Johnson) must have had some connections there at some level and felt like that would be a good place to go to avoid contact with us. We do believe he had some connections or associates in the state of California.”
Holt said that after the arrest, WSJP officers contacted the families of Katherine and Tony Butterfield so they could hear the the news from officials. The officers who spoke to family members said they felt a sense of relief that the main person of interest had been found,” Holt said.
The case is far from resolved, Holt stressed.
“The case is far from over, but in order for the case to progress to the next level… this was a necessary aspect of the case, and now that we have that (an arrest) here, it does bring them some peace and resolve,” Holt said.
“That being said, it’s a long road ahead, and honestly, it’s still just as horrific now. The shock has still not worn off, I’m sure, of what has happened to their loved ones.”
Holt confirmed that Johnson and the Butterfields were known to each other.
“Why we have stayed with that he (Johnson) was known to them is there’s some other investigative efforts going on that we feel like are very relevant to the case, so we will not elaborate on that further than to say he was known to them,” Holt said. “He was known fairly well to them, and we do believe that it was targeted and definitely an isolated incident.”
Johnson’s wife, Sina Johnson, was charged earlier with obstruction of justice in the case. Albert Johnson will be charged with two counts of aggravated murder, and other charges may be added that will be related to breaking in and theft, among other possibilities.
Holt said the Utah Attorney General’s office will be prosecuting the case, and it is likely future information will come from that office, with the WSPD stepping aside.
A warrant has been issued to attempt to expedite Johnson’s extradition to Utah, Holt said, but the timeline for that happening is not yet known.