COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Two women’s advocacy organizations stood in Recorder’s Court Wednesday morning in support of Charise Douglas, whose defense attorney, Anthony Johnson, said Douglas killed her husband, John Johnson, in self defense. Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Hud agreed with police investigators and told the judge he saw no evidence of domestic abuse.
On May 1, 911 operators received a phone call about a black male found unresponsive in the grass at 3860 Gentian Blvd., Gentian Village Apartment Complex. When investigators arrived at the scene they found John Johnson suffering from one gunshot wound to his back.
Columbus Police Sergeant Kyle Tuggle told the court John Johnson’s body was a short distance from the apartment he shared with his wife Charise Douglas and her son.
Neighbors told investigators that a few days before the shooting John Johnson and Douglas had a falling out and John Johnson was seen carrying Douglas’s things to the car. Tuggle said that Douglas and her son went home to Tennessee.
Anthony Johnson told News 3 that while Douglas was in Tennessee, John Johnson convinced Douglas to return to Columbus. A week later, John Johnson began to physically abuse Douglas. Anthony Johnson told News 3 he believes that John Johnson began to strangle Douglas on May 1. While being strangled, Anthony Johnson said, Douglas reached for her gun and shot John Johnson once in the back.
Prior to the shooting, Douglas and John Johnson had only been married for one week. Anthony Johnson said there was a history of abuse in the relationship.
“She was thinking things were going to change and unfortunately it did not. It was both physical and verbal abuse,” Anthony Johnson said.
Tuggle told the court after Douglas shot John Johnson she left the scene. She returned home to Tennessee and told her family she killed John Johnson and asked if they would take care of her son. Tuggle said Douglas’s family told her to return to Columbus and turn herself in to authorities.
Tuggle also stated he did not see any evidence of domestic abuse in the relationship. Anthony Johnson then told the court there were several messages from John Johnson threatening Douglas and she made a phone call to police on April 16, 2021.
Tuggle told the court he only saw one screenshot of a conversation between John Johnson and Douglas and it appeared the two were ending their relationship. Anthony Johnson asked the court if they could reduce Douglas’s charge to involuntary manslaughter since she shot John Johnson in self defense.
Anthony Johnson then asked if anyone in the audience who was there to support Douglas to please stand. At least 14 women stood in support of Douglas.
“We had about 20 women, it’s been two organizations. There’s the Georgia Association Against Sexual Assault, there’s the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. And those are two statewide organizations that have done a tremendous amount of work in Ms. Douglas’s case,” Anthony Johnson said.
After the women stood, Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Hud agreed with Tuggle and said he saw no evidence of abuse in the relationship. Douglas’ sisters, Eva and Jemima Israel, both said they were shocked when they heard Hud say there was no evidence of abuse.
“Of course, I’m like how can you say such a thing? You have to ask yourself, she did it for what reason, what was the cause? It has to be a cause, there’s a cause and an effect. It had to be something, it wasn’t just a random you know expression,” Eva Israel said. “The reality is, she was being abused the whole time and she retaliated.”
“It hurt, because we know she’s a very sweet person, it was never her intention. She’s a very nice lady, a very nice sister and we just hope and pray the most highest will bring her out of this situation,” Jemima Israel said.
Douglas was given no bond and her case was sent to Superior Court.
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