Convicted murderer died by suicide at Lerdo: coroner

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who died at Lerdo Jail following her murder conviction overdosed on drugs and her death has been ruled a suicide, coroner’s reports say.

Marvinesha Johnson, 29, took a lethal dose of the antidepressant sertraline last year, say the reports obtained this week by 17 News. The drug is used to treat mental health disorders including depression and obsessive-compulsive order.

High doses of other prescription drugs were also found in her system and her cause of death was listed as sertraline and other drug intoxication.

Johnson was found guilty of second-degree murder in November and faced up to 40 years to life in prison at her sentencing hearing.

On the afternoon of Dec. 26, Johnson was found unresponsive in her bunk at the Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility, according to coroner’s reports. Her cellmate alerted jail staff when she didn’t hear Johnson snoring. The cellmate said she became concerned because Johnson always snored when she slept.

Detentions deputies noticed Johnson still had a pulse and began CPR, the reports say. Paramedics and firefighters arrived to assist with medical aid.

Johnson was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m., roughly 40 minutes after life-saving efforts began.

The reports say Johnson spent several days on suicide watch earlier in the year after being told she faced the possibility of a life term in prison.

The events that landed her in jail began the night of Aug. 5, 2019, when she stole a bike outside an apartment in central Bakersfield, prosecutors said.

The owner of the bike and his friend, Brent Cannady, 37, went outside and took it back. Johnson yelled and followed them back to the apartment.

Johnson threatened to kill Cannady then drew a gun and shot him four times at close range, prosecutors said. He died the next day.

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