HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. — A California man admitted he killed a 16-year-old girl and two adults after he was caught with the teen in her bedroom, prosecutors said.
Mauricio Johnson, 19, agreed to a 150-year prison sentence in lieu of a life sentence after pleading guilty on Tuesday to the triple murder, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office said. As a result, he could be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Johnson killed Nikki Metcalf, 40, Margarett Moon, 40 and Shelly Autumn May Moon on Feb. 9 in their home on the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria Reservation, New York Post reported.
The defendant entered the home “with the permission of several minors” who lived there, prosecutors said. Yet after most of the house had gone to sleep, Metcalf walked into the girl’s bedroom and found Johnson and the girl, according to the DA’s press statement.
The teenagers were discovered getting “intimate” and Metcalf hit Johnson who ran from the room with his pants down, according to a warrant cited by Law&Crime.
Margaret Moon awoke when gunfire erupted — apparently killing Metcalf — and was shot when she walked into the living room, the publication noted. Johnson then shot the teenage girl “because he did not want to have any witnesses,” Law&Crime reported.
If the case went to trial, Johnson could have been sentenced to life in prison without parole but the DA said in its statement it considered several factors including that “a trial would require testimony from young people who have suffered a tragedy.”
Furthermore, under California law, Johnson could be eligible for parole after he’s been incarcerated for 25 years.
“On the point about California law, youthful offenders all currently receive a parole hearing in their 25th year of incarceration, unless they are serving life without the possibility of parole,” the DA statement said.
“California legislators are seeking to modify the parole eligibility of youthful offenders, so that all would be entitled to a parole hearing regardless of their original sentence. The defendant’s agreed upon sentence would be the maximum sentence he could receive if the law under consideration takes effect.”
Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 21, the Post reported.