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Judge denies lower bail for man accused of killing wife

Robert E. Johnson stabbed his wife 41 times and nearly severed her head, a Niagara County prosecutor asserted Thursday in arguing against a bail reduction motion by Johnson's lawyer.

County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III refused to reduce the bail he set last week: $200,000 cash or $400,000 property.

Johnson, 26, of Jordan Gardens, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty last week to second-degree murder and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 17 slaying of Ahkenya Johnson, 32, in their home.

Johnson was arrested Feb. 17 at a home on Rose Street in Buffalo.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre told Murphy that an autopsy showed 41 stab wounds on Ahkenya Johnson's body, and three knives were recovered from the slaying scene.

"Her head was almost decapitated by a slice to her neck," Baehre said.
Defense attorney Michael W. McNelis, of the Niagara County conflict defender's office, requested a reconsideration of the bail, but Murphy said no.

The judge set a tentative trial date of June 8 and a pretrial conference April 9.

Ahkenya Johnson, a mother of two daughters, had been studying at Bryant & Stratton to become a medical assistant and was to graduate in May. She also had worked at Teletech in Niagara Falls. Baehre said she had been married to Robert for five years.

"Her life revolved around her children," said her sister, Africa Olds. "These children will never have their mother, and that's what is so sad."

Olds said her family has had difficulty understanding the brutally of what was done to her sister.

"I think that's what we can't wrap our mind around, the way he did this to her," Olds said. "You don't treat an animal the way he did that to her. All we want is justice. We want him locked away."

Olds said her family wants to see Robert Johnson get the maximum prison term if he is convicted.

Olds described her sister as a laid-back person who didn't let the little things of life get to her. She had grown up in Niagara Falls and was thinking about moving to find a good job once she finished school, Olds said.

"You couldn't have anything negative to say about her," Olds said. "She was just one of those people. Every now and then you meet somebody in your life who's like that."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com and djgee@buffnews.com

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