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Suspect’s attorney claims self defense in Gentian Blvd. murder

Published: May. 14, 2021 at 8:48 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A woman accused of murdering her husband is expected to be in court next Wednesday, May 19.

Earlier this month, police found 38-year-old John Johnson dead in the road. Now it’s known that his wife shot him.

31-year-old Charise Douglas had been married to John Johnson for approximately one month, according to her attorney.

She moved to Columbus from Tennessee with her child to start a new chapter in life and now that chapter could lead to prison for the crime of murder.

“The expectation for Mrs. Douglas is that she was to be completely submissive at all times, in all facets of her life,” said Anthony Johnson, attorney for murder suspect Charise Douglas.

Douglas’ attorney explained to News Leader 9 why he’ll tell the court next week that his client was in fear for life and that John Johnson’s death was not a murder.

“She did not have a bank account that was in her name. It had to be in her husband’s name,” said Johnson. “She had to do whatever her husband wanted her to do whenever he wanted her to do it. It was effectively exercising dominion and control over Mrs. Douglas.”

Attorney Anthony Johnson says that Douglas sought help from police but without success.

“She had reached out to the Columbus Police Department in regards to 911. Unfortunately there was not much of a response to that, and then afterward Mrs. Douglas had to defend herself,” said Johnson.

The attorney says in April, Douglas was enduring an abusive night from Johnson and dialed 911, but hung up because he was approaching her. He said 911 returned the call, but she was unable to answer the phone.

The attorney says she never spoke with 911 and no response was ever sent to her location. This information will be verified in court proceedings.

On the day that John Johnson was shot to death, her attorney says extreme physical violence led to the shooting.

“He almost choked her to death.”

Douglas’ attorney says a major reason she carried a gun was because she had heard about violent crimes in Columbus prior to moving to the area.

If the case moves to Superior Court next week, Douglas could sit in the Muscogee County Jail for a lengthy time while the process moves through the court system.

Douglas’ was expected to appear in court Thursday, however police investigators were unable to testify.

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