Tristan Hallman, Dallas Morning News, October 12, 2015
Thomas Johnson was angry Monday about his situation in life, police said.
The former Skyline High School Raiders star and Texas A&M player was out of football and out of his home. And police say he took out his rage on a jogger he hacked to death at random Monday morning in northeast Dallas.
Authorities said Johnson, 21, admitted to detectives that he used a “large bladed knife” to kill 53-year-old David Stevens just before 8 a.m. on the White Rock Creek Trail.
“It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin said. “He just attacked him. . . . It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”
Johnson walked away from the scene and asked a man a few blocks away if he could use his cellphone to call 911, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Another man had also called 911 and said he saw a man in a hooded sweatshirt hit a jogger several times in the head with a sword.
Police said Johnson told dispatchers that there was a man on the trail “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”
When police showed up, Johnson allegedly told an officer, “I need to talk to you.”
Johnson, who had blood on his pants, told the officer, “I just committed capital murder,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He repeated the sentence.
Johnson has been charged with murder. He is currently in the Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Johnson hasn’t played for Texas A&M since 2012. He had three catches for 22 yards in A&M’s 29-24 win at No. 1 Alabama in 2012. He mysteriously disappeared days later. He resurfaced, unharmed and without explanation, but never played college football again.
But last year, Johnson was arrested on three charges–evading arrest, burglary of a habitation and auto theft–in Dallas County. He allegedly broke into his aunt’s house and stole her minivan and money.
The aunt told police then that Johnson “had been causing problems in the family for a long period of time,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Johnson had received four years probation. But court records show that prosecutors wanted his probation revoked last month because Johnson tested positive for marijuana and failed to meet other conditions of his bond, including paying fees. He was also supposed to go to rehab as part of his probation.
[Editor’s Note: David Stevens’ wife, Patti, committed suicide this past weekend. She said her husband was the “love of her life” and that she was “lost without him.”]