Convicted murderer found dead in Kern County Jail

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman found guilty of murder last year was found dead at Kern County Jail ahead of her sentencing hearing.

Marvinesha Johnson, 29, had been scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder, resisting a peace officer and a firearm enhancement for a shooting that occurred after she stole a bicycle. But defense attorneys said in court their client had died.

She had faced up to 40 years to life in prison.

Later Wednesday, the coroner’s office confirmed Johnson died Dec. 26. Cause and manner of death had not been determined.

The District Attorney’s office said it will obtain a copy of a certified death certificate and provide it to the court. The judge intends to dismiss the case upon proof and verification of Johnson’s death.

The events leading to Johnson’s arrest took place in central Bakersfield the night of Aug. 5, 2019, when she stole a bike outside an apartment, prosecutors said. The owner of the bike and his friend, Brent Cannady, 37, went outside and saw Johnson with the bike and took it back from her.

She yelled and followed them to the apartment, where she threatened to kill Cannady then drew a gun and shot him four times at close range. He died the next day.

Police arrested Johnson a block away about 15 minutes after the shooting. She was in possession of a 9mm handgun determined to be the murder weapon, prosecutors said.

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