Suspect in shooting deaths of Utah couple taken into custody in California
Gephardt Daily staff
Published at | Updated at
WEST JORDAN, Utah (Gephardt Daily) — A man suspected in the aggravated murder of a West Jordan couple was arrested Wednesday morning.
Albert Enoch Johnson, 31, is the suspect in the fatal shooting of Anthony “Tony” Butterfield and his wife, Katherine Butterfield, in their West Jordan home early Saturday. The couple’s three children, age 4 and younger, were in the home, but were not injured.
West Jordan Police Department said in a statement Wednesday morning at 8:20 a.m.: “Mr. Johnson was taken into custody early this morning in the Sacramento, California area. We appreciate the assistance from allied law enforcement authorities and the U.S. Marshals Service in assisting with his apprehension.
“This is a very trying time for the Butterfields’ loved ones. We are hopeful to bring closure to this terrible tragedy and this is a step in that direction.”
West Jordan Sgt. J.C. Holt said at a Monday 4 p.m. news conference that police were searching for 31-year-old Johnson, who is from West Jordan.
Holt said Johnson was known to the Butterfields and the killing is thought to be a targeted and isolated act.
“We do not believe the person of interest was invited into the home,” Holt said in that news conference. “It was a home invasion, there were signs of forced entry into the home.”
Holt said at this time police are not saying what the relationship between Johnson and the victims is, and the motive is not clear at this time.
Police are not currently looking for any other persons of interest in the case.
“We do believe that the Butterfields were absolute, true victims. We do not believe there was any criminal activity going on on their part,” Holt said. Johnson does have a criminal history, he added.
There are signs an altercation took place prior to the shootings, Holt said, and the house had been “gone through.”
Johnson was last seen driving a dark gray 2008 Toyota Corolla with black wheels and the license plate V464MW.
Holt previously told Gephardt Daily that police arrived shortly after a 1:15 a.m. call to dispatch, in which a neighbor said she heard gunshots and a woman screaming.
Officers responded to the scene, near 7000 South and 3200 West, and knocked on the door, Holt said. When no one answered, police went to the backyard and found Tony Butterfield deceased. Entering the house, officers found Katherine Butterfield just inside the front door, also dead. Both had been shot.
The children are now in the care of family members, who “are fully cooperative and obviously upset, to get that phone call to come get the kids,” Holt said.
Sina Johnson, wife of Albert Enoch Johnson, has been charged with obstruction of justice, a first-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
Sina Johnson, who will be 30 years old next month, allegedly had “information regarding an aggravated murder involving two victims in the city of West Jordan that occurred on April 18,” according to a probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County by a West Jordan police officer.
The reporting officer stated in the charging document that in an interview post Miranda, Sina Johnson continued to falsify her knowledge of what occurred.
She “withheld the whereabouts of the homicide suspect and falsified her recount of what occurred and her involvement,” according to the document, which says she had contact with her husband several times before and after the homicide.
The probable cause statement notes that she is charged with first-degree felony obstruction because aggravated murder is a capital offense. She was booked into Salt Lake County Jail, where she is being held without bail.
The charges against Albert Enoch Johnson will be announced later Wednesday. He has felonies in Sacramento County between 2009 and 2011.
This article first appeared in Gephardt Daily. It is used here with permission.