MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 35-year-old man accused of killing his wife and leaving her body in a White Bear Lake garage has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder, after an indictment was returned Tuesday by a Grand Jury.
The Ramsey County Grand Jury indicted Steven Roger Johnson, of St. Paul, with the first degree charges, as well as second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death of his wife earlier this year.
According to the charges, Johnson shot his wife, Manya Jewel Johnson, 32, in the head with a shotgun on Jan. 6 and then used a saw to dismember her body in the shower, placing her in several storage bins. Johnson said then he cleaned up his home to hide the evidence.
Police say he brought those bins to a friend’s garage, without that friend knowing. Johnson later told the friend what he did.
The complaint states police were dispatched to a home on the 1400 block of Sheldon Avenue to check on the welfare of Johnson’s wife.
Upon arrival, they were advised that a man in White Bear Lake had called police stating the woman was dead and that Johnson had placed her body in his garage.
While police were at the St. Paul residence, Johnson returned to the home with a co-worker of Manya Johnson, claiming to be looking for her since she didn’t show up for work.
Officers immediately detained Steven Johnson for questioning. He admitted to police he murdered his wife, after the two were arguing on Sunday.
He told police his wife said she was leaving him and was taking their 18-month-old son with her. He admitted he’d been drinking.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s report confirmed the cause of death as homicide due to an “intermediate range” gunshot wound to the head.