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Who was Bruce Johnson Jr? Mother stabs son, 11, to death before turning knife on herself

Mary Johnson was about to get divorced because of her abusive behaviour in the past
UPDATED JAN 16, 2023
Bruce Johnson Jr was stabbed to death by his own mother (Lea County Sheriff's Office)
Bruce Johnson Jr was stabbed to death by his own mother (Lea County Sheriff's Office)

In a gruesome incident that has shocked New Mexico, a mother was slapped with charges of first degree murder, as per the Sheriff's Office, on July 12. Lea County Sheriff's Office investigators have issued an arrest warrant for Mary Johnson, 49, who stabbed her son Bruce Johnson Jr, 11, to death.

The crime took place at their residence in North Dal Pasco and was reported by Bruce's father, Bruce Johnson Sr, on Sunday. Johnson found his wife and son unconscious with stab wounds and called 911.


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Mary and Johnson Sr were about to get divorced, and the former had shown a history of abusive and violent behaviour towards her son. Upon noticing this, Johnson Sr decided to move away from her and planned on divorcing her eventually.

They moved to Hobbs from Oklahoma —where she was reported twice for abusing her son. Bruce was away from his mother for around 40 days until she started insisting that she meet him. Johnson agreed, and she visited them in Oklahoma before filing for divorce.

On the night of the ghastly crime, Johnson was fast asleep before he woke up to his son's screams and rushed to another room. After seeing Bruce lying on the bed with umpteenth stab wounds, his father called 911 and soon noticed his wife in another room lying unconscious. Bruce was still breathing, and the mother-son duo were taken to Covenant Hobbs Hospital at around 1:00 am after the sheriff's deputies got the complaint. It was here that Bruce accused his mother of stabbing him, and he breathed his last at 4:19 am. The autopsy at Albuquerque confirmed the eleven-year-old was stabbed multiple times.

In a conversation with News 12, one of Bruce's classmates' father said Mary had been showing signs of being troubled for a long time. Her oddities were just accentuated after the Kingston Tornado in March, which she described as "God's wrath". He also mentioned how she would make comments "talking about she's Mary Jesus and just different things, talking about hurting other people."

According to KRQE, the mother was still in critical condition as of July 11. The investigators have already interviewed potential witnesses but have made no arrests as of yet. Mary stabbed herself multiple times after she inflicted the fatal injuries on her son.


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Prayers poured in for Bruce as the sheriff's office released their statement entailing a detailed account of the crime. One Facebook user even said, "I'm not shaming the dad at all here, but this is why we don't let abusers back in. That 40 days she hadn't seen that kid was probably the best 40 days of his life. May he RIP."