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Woman Kills Coworker Of Estranged Husband In A Jealous Rage

A North Carolina woman has just been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of killing her estranged husband’s co-worker–all because she mistakenly thought the woman was having an affair with him.

Marlene Johnson, 66, collapsed on Wednesday after a jury in Rowan County found her guilty of first-degree murder in the 2013 stabbing death of Shirley Pierce, 62, local station WSOC-TV reports. Johnson maintained her innocence even after the guilty verdict was read saying in court,  “I disagree with the jury’s decision…I am innocent. I was never there. I would never hurt anybody. I would not have killed Shirley Pierce.”

According to Judge Stuart Albright, DNA evidence found at the scene “squarely contradicts everything that you just said,” which he retorted to Johnson in court, the Salisbury Post reports. After handing down her life sentence without parole, the judge then said to her, “Ma’am, you will die in prison. That is my order.”

Johnson reportedly killed Pierce because she mistakenly believed she was having an affair with her estranged husband, Ervin Johnson. Now retired, Ervin was the chief financial officer and president of Tuscarora Yarns in Mount Pleasant. His wife had harassed and stalked Pierce before the murder, according to trial testimony.

Before her murder, Pierce had obtained multiple restraining orders against Johnson; Investigators that searched Johnson’s home and vehicle found surveillance photos of Pierce both at her home and at work. On July 23, 2013, Pierce’s fiancé found her stabbed to death inside her home.

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